Mikel Arteta sends stunning response to Pep Guardiola’s mind games amid Gabriel Jesus return in Fulham win
The Arsenal manager has pushed back Pep Guardiola title charge claims after their win against Fulham
Mikel Arteta has dismissed Pep Guardiola’s title games, insisting that Arsenal are simply taking each day as it comes, and he was delighted to see Gabriel Jesus return.
The Gunners put Fulham to the sword in a ruthless first-half display at Craven Cottage on Sunday, with Leandro Trossard setting up Gabriel Magalhaes, Gabriel Martinelli, and Martin Odegaard on their way to a 3-0 victory.
A day earlier, Manchester City defeated Crystal Palace with a solitary penalty from Erling Haaland, and Guardiola later claimed Arsenal were still big favourites for the title, in part because of their desire to end their long Premier League drought.
Arteta has consistently played down title talk, remaining focused on taking each training session and match day by day and game by game.
When asked about Guardiola’s post-match press conference comments, and whether it is a positive or negative that City is putting pressure on Arsenal, Arteta replied, ‘I don’t know.
‘We just talk about what we talk about internally: being really humble, working on the next training session, and trying to be better every day.
‘This is our priority. There is still a significant portion of the season to be completed.’
‘I would be singing with them to support the team, that’s for sure,’ Arteta said of Arsenal fans chanting for the team to win the league. They’ve been outstanding.
‘The number of people who came here, their attitude, their passion, and the energy that they put in is incredible. And we’ll need it, and it’ll be a game changer for us, so thank you!’
‘Really happy,’ he said of the victory over Fulham. A very difficult place to visit and a very well-organized team.
‘I think we dominated the game, we created so many chances, we kept a clean sheet – which was crucial – and we won the game convincingly, so we’re really happy.’
Arsenal’s commanding lead provided an opportunity to bring on Gabriel Jesus for his first appearance for the club in nearly four months, and Arteta was delighted to see him back and looking sharp.
When asked about the return of the Brazilian, he said, ‘Big boost. Today was his first step, and we weren’t sure if it was the right game for him. “I’m still missing something,” he told me a few days ago.
‘Yesterday I looked at him in his eyes and he said, “I’m ready”. “All right,” I said. So we had the chance to throw him in, which is the first step in providing him with that boost. He looked liberated, and he created two big chances right away, so it’s great to have him back.’