Mikel Arteta: Arsenal ‘had to suffer’ in North London Derby win

Sunday’s North London Derby win came as Mikel Arteta’s 100th Premier League victory as Arsenal boss, and edged the Gunners one step closer to securing their first league title since the Invincibles season of 2003/04.

Twenty years on from that unbelievable campaign, Arsenal find themselves going toe-to-toe with Manchester City. Pep Guardiola’s side are seeking to secure a record-breaking fourth consecutive Premier League title, and will leapfrog the Gunners if they win all of their remaining games.

Arteta’s Arsenal found themselves leading by three goals at half-time in N17, but a late comeback from Spurs forced the visitors to defend resolutely in the dying minutes of Sunday afternoon’s clash.

‘I was praying when Spurs put the ball in our box,’ Arteta revealed in his post-match press conference. ‘It was a really emotional game, a really tough place to come in this stadium and a tough team to play against. We were 3-0 up, in control of the game, then in the second half we were dominating the game and creating chances.’

Embed from Getty Images

‘Then an individual error happens, that puts a message in your brain. We were dealing with the situations better, another [goal] and then it’s game on. They have the players and the quality to commit a lot of players forward. We had to suffer and react and I’m very pleased that we did.’

Securing a win at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was made all the more impressive, given the manner in which Arsenal have responded to their UEFA Champions League elimination. Arteta suggested that his players want to ‘be a part of the journey,’ and added that ‘when you are at the highest possible level, you are going to have disappointments.’

‘The margins are so small so they’re not always going to go for you, and then it’s how you react to that and face the challenge and opportunity and be brave. I think this team has a lot of courage and determination to make it happen.’