Mikel Arteta, the manager of Arsenal, believes that the team’s long-awaited win against Manchester City is a major breakthrough in their quest to win the Premier League. The victory came courtesy of Gabriel Martinelli’s late goal, which deflected off Nathan Ake and sealed a cathartic 1-0 win. Prior to this match, Arsenal had suffered defeat in their previous 12 league meetings with City, making this victory all the more significant.
The last time Arsenal tasted success against City in the Premier League was in December 2015. The team and the 60,000 sell-out crowd at the Emirates Stadium reveled in the moment, celebrating with jubilant scenes on and off the pitch. While Arsenal had previously defeated City in the Community Shield at Wembley in August, this victory holds greater importance as it was achieved in a crucial clash between last season’s champions and their closest rivals.
In April, Arsenal held an eight-point lead at the top of the table, only to experience a meltdown that allowed City to claim their third successive title and achieve an incredible treble. Instead of succumbing to the pain of that collapse, Arteta and his players have harnessed it as motivation to secure the club’s first title in 20 years.
The determination of Arsenal was evident as they relentlessly pushed City back in the closing stages of the match, searching for a winner while the champions seemed content with a draw. Arteta believes that this hunger and resilience displayed by his team could be a defining moment in their development.
Arteta said, “It’s a great feeling. You could sense it. It’s been so many years without beating them, but now we have beaten the best team in the world without a question of doubt. We have done it in a great way because there were moments we had to suffer. It sends a message to our team to keep believing in what they are doing. I don’t know if it was a barrier, but it was something we needed to go through.”
With Arsenal now sitting in second place, two points ahead of City in third, and behind league leaders Tottenham only on goals scored, the bitter memories of their 15-game winless streak against City can finally be put to rest. Arsenal has shown that they can compete on equal footing against Guardiola’s star-studded team, limiting City to only four shots and disrupting their renowned passing and movement.
Pep Guardiola, the manager of Manchester City, attributed City’s recent dip in form to the absence of suspended midfielder Rodri. Guardiola acknowledged that Arsenal’s aggression in certain areas made it challenging for his team. Despite the setbacks, Guardiola remains optimistic, drawing inspiration from last season when City overtook Arsenal in the title race.
Guardiola said, “No team has ever won four in a row in the Premier League. We are in October. Maybe it is good to be behind and try to catch them. Last season we were far behind. I know these players for many years and what we have done together. It is (an) honor and privilege to see them running and fighting.”