Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta admits he loves the fact his players were already discussing how they could improve in the immediate aftermath of their victory over Brighton. The Gunners overcame the Seagulls 4-2 at the American Express Community Stadium to move seven points clear at the top of the Premier League table.
“My excitement comes from going into the dressing room when the players are talking about what they should have done better today,” Arteta told reporters after the match.
Arsenal took just two minutes to go in front on the south coast as Bukayo Saka kept his cool to tap the ball home from close range. The in-form Martin Odegaard then doubled his side’s advantage before the interval as he fired in from the edge of the box after the hosts had failed to deal with a corner.
Eddie Nketiah all but killed the game off in the early stages of the second half as he bundled in a rebound after Gabriel Martinelli had been denied. But Brighton hit back through Kaoru Mitoma after 65 minutes. Martinelli restored his side’s three-goal advantage, before Evan Ferguson got his name on the scoresheet for the Seagulls late on.
“Really tricky opponents,” Arteta told the BBC. “Tonight we had to have a big performance to win against a really good Brighton side and I think we did that. We had to dig in as well. They dominate a lot of phases of play. They do a lot of things but we did a lot of things well today to earn the right to win.
“Martin Odegaard had some big moments. He produces in the right moment. A lot of things to improve, especially in defending moments. We still have room to improve.
“We knew the result [of the Manchester City game] but the boost is we have to come here and win and to do that we have to performance at the highest level in the league. It means nothing because our only focus is again is to improve.”
Arsenal have been in sensational form this season and have stormed to the top of the Premier League table courtesy of 14 wins from 16 matches. Their result on the south coast means they are now seven points ahead of second-place Manchester City, who were held to a 1-1 draw by Everton at the Etihad Stadium earlier in the day. But the Gunners have a difficult run of matches ahead of them as they are set to take on Newcastle, Tottenham and Manchester United in their next three games.