EPL

Mikel Arteta hails Arsenal drive for more goals and wins after thumping Burnley

By Sports Desk February 17, 2024

Mikel Arteta was delighted by his players’ unquenchable drive for more goals and wins after Arsenal racked up their fifth Premier League win in a row at relegation-threatened Burnley.

The north Londoners are in the middle of a tough title tussle and kept the pressure on both Liverpool and Manchester City by running amok at Turf Moor.

Martin Odegaard opening the scoring inside four minutes at embattled Burnley, where Bukayo Saka’s brace was complemented by Leandro Trossard and Kai Havertz efforts in a 5-0 win.

Saturday’s five-star performance followed on from last weekend’s 6-0 shellacking of West Ham, leaving boss Arteta delighted by his players’ hunger and drive for more.

“Really happy with the performance, with the result and the individual and collective contribution of each player as well,” the Arsenal boss said. “That was very, very good.

“And the fact that the team looked like it wanted more. It wasn’t satisfied.

“They wanted to score more, they didn’t want to concede a goal. I’m really pleased to hit that consistency.”

Asked if the domination has pleased him more than the goals recently, Arteta said: “Yeah. We want to dominate games and play in the opponent’s half as much as possible.

“I think the threat, the purpose, the activity and the connections of the players are flowing and they really want it.

“We have momentum now and we have to maintain it.

“Now we leave the Premier League, we go to Porto which will be a really tough environment, so just prepare to play well again and be ourselves.”

Arsenal head to Portugal for the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Wednesday buoyed by yet another comprehensive victory on the road.

Arteta praised confident skipper Odegaard after Saturday’s triumph, so too Saka after the homegrown star scored in four straight top-flight games for the first time in his career.

Put to the Arsenal boss that the forward has the maturity of a senior player despite only being 22, he said: “Yes, we don’t really see it (in football).

“Especially forward players and wingers with that level of consistency and numbers.

“At his age it is something really strange to find but it is not a coincidence when you look at him every single day.

“The way he trains, the way he applies himself, the qualities that he has. And he can do more.”

The heavy loss means embattled Burnley still only have managed five points at Turf Moor this season, leaving them staring down the barrel of relegation.

Burnley assistant Craig Bellamy was in the dugout against Arsenal as Vincent Kompany served a touchline ban and the Clarets boss did not like what he saw from the stands.

“Just not good enough,” Kompany said. “Arsenal were better than us in every department today. It’s a tough one to take on the chin.

“You look back at probably the last 10 to 15 games and we were always able to draw on positives from the game.

“Today’s one you have to take on the chin and probably say less and make sure that you get the energy back in the team for the next game because that’s all we’ve got to focus on now.

“You do get days like this sometimes and when you do and where we are in the league, you get punished and the gap shows then.”

Burnley return to action at Crystal Palace next weekend, when midfielder Aaron Ramsey will surely be absent having left on a stretcher with a nasty-looking knee injury.

“It didn’t look good,” Kompany added. “I can only hope for it not to be as bad as it looked and for him to hopefully have a speedy recovery.”

Related items

  • Andre Onana says Man Utd will learn from mistakes after FA Cup semi-final scare Andre Onana says Man Utd will learn from mistakes after FA Cup semi-final scare

    Andre Onana vowed Manchester United will learn from their mistakes ahead of facing Manchester City in the FA Cup final after their late collapse in the semi-final against Coventry almost led to an embarrassing defeat.

    United surrendered a 3-0 lead at Wembley and were saved from a humiliating exit in extra time only by a VAR intervention, ruling out for offside what would have been a last-gasp winner for the Sky Blues.

    They survived to edge through on penalties and set up a re-match of last year’s final against City on May 25, the first time since 1885 that the same two clubs have contested the final in consecutive seasons.

    But after they were ripped into in the closing stages by a Coventry team eighth in the Championship, United goalkeeper Onana indicated radical improvement will be needed if the Red Devils are to avenge the 2-1 loss they suffered against Pep Guardiola’s men last season.

    “It’s mixed feelings,” said the 28-year-old. “Of course the most important thing is the victory but the way we won, it’s a difficult situation.

    “We had the game under control, then some individual mistakes, gave some goals away. But we will learn from our mistakes. We have to continue working hard.”

    The manner in which United allowed Coventry back into the game has increased the pressure on manager Erik ten Hag, with the team currently seventh in Premier League and in a fight to qualify for Europe next season.

    Should they fail to overcome City in the cup final they face the prospect of missing out on European qualification for just the second time in the Premier League era.

    “If you put everything on the table, we can speak about everything; about injuries, bad luck,” said Onana. “We missed a lot of important players, it’s difficult for such a big club to play without such big players.

    “I don’t pay attention about how many shots we have conceded, because at the end of the day it’s about winning. We won so we have to look forward.

    “It’s a big responsibility and it starts with myself. We are here to take the bullet. When things are not going good, (it is important) not to point fingers.

    “Everything was under control and we gave goals away, so it’s more (our responsibility) than other people.”

    Asked what United needed to improve in order to overcome City in the final, he said: “Having more possession, being more dominant on the ball.

    “We play against a very good team who are very good on the ball. We’re going to make them run.”

  • Arsenal will give it a real go in quest for Premier League title – Mikel Arteta Arsenal will give it a real go in quest for Premier League title – Mikel Arteta

    Mikel Arteta insists Arsenal will “give it a real go” as they look to win a first Premier League title since 2003.

    The Gunners celebrated a 2-0 victory over Wolves on Saturday night as they bounced back from their Champions League exit to Bayern Munich and last week’s 2-0 league defeat to Aston Villa.

    Arteta talked up the importance of the leaders’ final five Premier League matches, with Arsenal top on goal difference from Liverpool and one point ahead of Manchester City who have a game in hand.

    Arsenal face Chelsea on Tuesday night, with the Blues going into the game on the back of an FA Cup semi-final exit to Manchester City on Saturday.

    “I have the same message that we need to keep doing what we’re doing, focus on the game and the task, prepare the game well and the boys look ready to go again,” Arteta told a press conference on Monday.

    “It meant a lot for us (to win against Wolves). We are in a great position and we have been for nine months. We really want to give it a real go and we are really determined to do what is in our hands to lift the trophy.”

    Chelsea, who have been a mixed bag in Mauricio Pochettino’s first season, are undefeated in the Premier League since February’s 4-2 home loss to Wolves.

    Arteta reiterated that he thinks Chelsea will “come good” under the Argentinian, and added: “I have a huge admiration for Mauricio because I have known him for 23 years and I wish him nothing but the best.

    “He’s an incredible manager and a huge leader, he’ll inspire that club to get them where they want to get to, that’s for sure.

    “Whatever team they put out, with the quality in their squad, will be great. They are doing much better than what people talk about and it will be a tough match.”

    Chelsea are still bidding for a European spot next season, with the Blues three points behind sixth-placed Newcastle with a game in hand on the Magpies.

    Arteta believes their London rivals have undergone a “huge improvement” in recent months and “deserve to be in a higher position”.

    He added: “They have been in a final, a semi-final. I think what Mauricio is doing is really impressive and I’m sure he’s going to get them there.”

  • Cole Palmer a doubt for Chelsea’s clash with Arsenal due to illness Cole Palmer a doubt for Chelsea’s clash with Arsenal due to illness

    Cole Palmer is a doubt for Chelsea’s visit to Arsenal on Tuesday with Mauricio Pochettino confirming the Premier League’s joint-top scorer is likely to miss the game at the Emirates Stadium with illness.

    The 21-year-old did not train on Monday following his side’s FA Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester City on Saturday, a loss that left them needing to secure a top-seven finish in the league if they are to end their year-long absence from European competition.

    The England international has been the standout player of an indifferent season for Chelsea, with seven goals in the team’s last two home games having rocketed him to the top of the scoring charts alongside City striker Erling Haaland.

    He has frequently been the decisive factor when the team have performed well, helping Pochettino’s side throw off the creative inertia that blunted their attack last season and in the early weeks of the current campaign.

    A win against Mikel Arteta’s title-chasers would put the Argentinian’s side level on points with sixth-placed Newcastle, with a top-six finish likely to be enough for a Europa League berth.

    However, the size of their task – already a daunting one with Arsenal on a run of 11 league wins in their last 13 – grew on Monday with the fear that Palmer will likely miss out, while full-backs Ben Chilwell and Malo Gusto are also doubts.

    “We need to assess (Tuesday) morning,” said Pochettino of Palmer’s chances. “Today, no, I don’t believe he can be involved. Even if he will be good tomorrow, he may not be in a condition to play.

    “With and without him, we believe that we can win. The most important thing is the collective. Of course he’s an important part of the team. He’s doing fantastic for us. But we have plenty of players that can perform and do the job.”

    Pochettino defended the contributions of striker Nicolas Jackson on his debut season for the club, after he missed multiple opportunities against City to put Chelsea in the final.

    The 22-year-old has improved significantly in recent weeks after struggling in the aftermath of his £32million summer move from Villarreal but three times at Wembley he failed to make the most of clear openings.

    Pochettino has been forced to rely on the player – who has scored 10 goals in the league – far more than the club had intended, with fellow signing Christopher Nkunku having been limited by injury to a handful of appearances since joining from RB Leipzig.

    “First season is always difficult but more when you are a striker and you have to perform and score goals. Everyone expects with every single touch to score,” Pochettino added. “He’s our main striker, the only striker we have fit.

    “He’s doing fantastic. He’s doing an amazing job for the team; running, scoring goals, giving assists. His first season, a young guy, came in from Spain, even with not too much experience there.

    “If we want the player to match the iconic players here, if we compare him with Drogba, obviously he’s going to lose.

    “But he’s going to have all my support. Even if he doesn’t score, the way that he’s fighting for the club and his team-mates, he’s producing chances. He needs time to improve. He’ll be better next season for sure, no doubt about that.”

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.