Arsenal 3 – 2 Bournemouth – Match sheet

After taking a few moments to recover from his wild victory over Bournemouth, Mikel Arteta was soon in the media room at the Emirates Stadium to answer questions from the gathered journalists.

The boss was asked about Reiss Nelson’s impact, Leoanrdo Trossard’s injury, Bournemouth’s nine-second goal and his emotions during those crazy final stages.

Read everything he had to say below:

on whether he believes in destiny:
Yes Yes. Why? It was an extraordinary day, a beautiful experience at the end. Very dramatic, but it was worth it because it was a great ending.

on how he describes the emotions of the last minutes:
I guess everyone’s a little overwhelmed. It was crazy from the first second of the game; a routine we knew they could do. They did it brilliantly but we defended so poorly. We had to climb up against 10 players behind the ball. We tried in every way. We didn’t score and suddenly we were 2-0 down from set pieces.

After that, [it was about] Don’t lose your form, don’t lose your discipline and start doing all the simple things right and try to score the first goal. We did it. We showed a lot of maturity and resilience to do this. When we did, the atmosphere and the place changed energy. Then it was about going to the other one. We created a lot of situations. I think we fired 31 shots in total. When we scored the second goal it was ‘OK, let’s throw away the toys and let’s go’. I thought submarines had a huge impact today. I’m very happy for Reiss after the difficult months he’s had. It was an amazing day to end.

on player characters:
The team and individuals showed a different level of will to win, determination and initiative today. When the game gets ugly, there’s a point where you can lose momentum, you can start hiding and start moving around the game. The players didn’t. They wanted the game, they wanted the ball every time, they took risks, they took the initiative and they tried until we broke them. It was great to see that on the team.

what is his heart rate now:
It’s crazy – you lose sight of where you are. I started running and didn’t really know what I was running to. Just look at the faces of everyone – staff, players, our fans with those smiles and joy in their eyes. It’s just great to live.

on whether Mikel wanted Reiss to shoot:
I don’t know. If we had told him 50 times in training to put it there, I don’t know if he would have scored, but he did it at the perfect moment for the team, for himself. He fully deserves this moment, kid.

about wasting time:
Each team does everything in its power to win the game. You must respect that. The judges are here to make decisions. I spoke with Andrzej [Marriner, fourth official] and he immediately told me it was at least six minutes. Today, fortunately, we had enough time to win the match.

on whether there were plans to replace Smith Rowe:
We weren’t planning on bringing it so early in the game. We knew it was difficult for him to last 70 minutes on the pitch after almost five months away from football. I think he had a good impact on the game and towards the end I felt we needed something different, especially on the left side, because we were missing a threat and we were attracting more players to that side. That’s why we made the decision to hire Reiss.

on whether Mikel has ever heard of such a stadium:
Probably the loudest and most emotional moment we’ve had together. The journey we’ve been on together… the way the fans and the team are together added to the moment we’ve had today. It was really special.

For an update on Trossard’s injury:
It’s a worry. He immediately came to me and said that he couldn’t continue driving because he felt something when he was coming back around the bend. We have to evaluate him and see what he is like.

on what he tells Nelson that he can create moments like this:
I’ve always seen the potential, the talent and the desire for him to do it, but I think he’s on another level now. I think emotionally, the experiences he had had helped him. As far as football is concerned, it was my decision not to include him in the last two games because we had other options. But he knocks on the door. He’s training really well and it’s a good lesson for me and the coaches that we need him and that he can be really important in the team.

on the early opening of Bournemouth:
Credit to them. They try a lot of different things from the beginning of the game, they have routines for every set. I’m sure they worked on it and scored a really good goal today. It was really bad for us.

on whether Martinelli will play more centrally without Trossard:
The way they defended, we thought was the best way. We have alternatives – Emile can play this position too, we can move players around and Reiss can give us width and threat in wider fields. We will have to evaluate each opponent because he will be different. Now we have Sporting CP, a really tough match, so hopefully we’ll have one or two back.

on how Mikel will focus players for the next match:
First, let’s enjoy the evening, please. I told everyone to have fun. When you go through moments like this, you have to enjoy them because there are not many in football. We’re going back to work tomorrow.

on what such a win can do for faith and momentum in the title race:
That’s four games in a row – winning four games in a row in the Premier League is very difficult. We won three in a week, which is even harder, and we’ve done it in different ways. That should inspire more faith. A lot of things went against the team today. Our fault for the first one, then the fact that we didn’t score, the situation with Leo, the play they had when they scored. The team still found a way to win the game and that’s really positive.

Copyright 2023 Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted provided is credited as the source.

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