Mikel Arteta was pleased with the effort of his players after a bruising 1-0 win over Burnley at Turf Moor today.
The Gunners had a beautiful free kick by odegaard to thank for the only goal of the game, but it was a typically difficult game against physical opposition.
Arsenal weren’t helped by some lack of precision in the final third, and a couple of iffy moments at the back – not least a penalty decision which was overturned by VAR – but the manager was particular about how hard a task it is take all three points from The Clarets at home.
“It’s a really hard-fought victory in a place that it is tough to come to and win,” said Arteta.
“They do really well with what they do. They put you under a lot of pressure but I think we started the game really well, controlling and dominating the game.
“We had some big phases where I saw a lot of things that we want as a team. We scored the goal, had some opening chances and then there were moments where we lost control and started to give balls away after the second or third pass.
“Then the game becomes open and there is no control. They split the two blocks very much and then you have to defend crosses and long balls. I thought that we did that really, really well.
“We have players that are not in the best quality to play that game but I think that they did terrifically well and the commitment and the attitude that they showed throughout the game to find a way to win was the most pleasing thing for me, after the game.”
If there was something missing from the attacking side of our game today, there was certainly no lack of effort or defensive commitment to the performance, and in games like this that can be the difference between points and no points.