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By Martin Graham | 22nd Apr 2023
Mikel Arteta has praised the attitude of his players after seeing them fight back to score two late goals and claim a 3-3 draw against Southampton.
The Gunners were 3-1 down going into the final few minutes before Martin Odegaard fired in a shot from the edge of the box before an equalizer from Bukayo Saka. In the end, the league leaders earned a point from a game that looked destined for a loss in the opening 20 minutes.
That result felt like a loss but regardless, Arteta has focused on the positive aspects of the night, looking at it from a point gained as well.
Arteta praises Arsenal’s fighting spirit
Speaking after the game, Arteta said: “It was a very emotional story again right from the beginning with the way we conceded the first and second goals so early.”
“But the team showed incredible determination and character to stay there, keep trying and believing. After 3-1 when normally the players and crowd would bottle it, we did absolutely the opposite. We kept trying, kept pushing, we started to build an incredible atmosphere again, we scored the second and the third, and with eight minutes to go, you have two big chances that you should win the game.”
“My feeling is ‘how can I not love those players?’ It’s incredible again what they’ve done at their age, when everything is at stake and you have made a couple of mistakes and things are difficult.”
“They made me proud, they made the staff proud. Playing in front of our crowd and how generous they are, what they are giving to the team is just exceptional. The only downside is that we couldn’t give them the three points they deserved.”
Arteta did admit that that point could be crucial in the grand scheme of things but was eager to state that his side must avoid a repeat against the reigning champions.
“Obviously, it’s better to get a point than none, but the feeling today is that we lost it,” he added.
“We have to look in the mirror, because obviously giving the three goals we gave away, makes it really difficult to win a game in this league.
“First we need to reset, have some dinner, reflect on the game and start to prepare mentally how best to prepare the plan to go [to Manchester] and win it.”
Arsenal will now travel to the Etihad next to take on what is arguably their biggest game of the season against reigning champions Manchester City.
Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer
Source : MyFootballFacts