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Gary Neville praises Mikel Arteta’s ‘perfect gameplan’ for Arsenal’s victory over Tottenham


Arteta relieved some of the pressure on himself with a big win in the derby (Picture: Getty Images)

Gary Neville says Mikel Arteta got his tactics ‘completely right’ for Arsenal’s emphatic 3-1 victory over Tottenham in the north London derby on Sunday.

The Gunners started the game at an electric pace and found themselves 3-0 up within 35 minutes via goals from Emile Smith Rowe, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Bukayo Saka.

Arteta’s side took their foot off the gas in the second, allowing Spurs to venture forward and eventually get a consolation goal through Heung-min Son.

Captain Aubameyang put in a top performance for the Gunners (Picture: Getty Images)

But the Gunners kept their opponents at bay despite Aaron Ramsdale being called to action on a few occasions.

Speaking on The Gary Neville Podcast, the ex-Manchester United defender was full of praise for Gunners captain Aubameyang, and hailed Arteta for perfecting his gameplan.

‘I thought Arsenal had lost Aubameyang a few months ago,’ said Neville. ‘He looked like he didn’t want to be there anymore but today he set the tone as the striker with the speed of his pressing aided by the young ones in behind.

‘Tottenham were well off it in every aspect. Arsenal’s back four was allowed to grow in confidence and when they got the opening goal, they sat back which meant they were always compact.

‘When they were ahead, they were well set up to counter-attack so Arteta’s gameplan was perfect. Spurs got it completely wrong but Arteta got it completely right.

‘He’s now in the ascendancy and everyone’s buzzing again around here.’

The win is their third in a row in the Premier League and somewhat makes up for their poor start to the season, having lost their opening three fixtures.

Although Arsenal and Spurs are both on nine points, Neville thinks Arteta’s team are the ones on the up.

‘Both teams are on the exact same number of points after this game and yet one group of fans will be depressed with what they’ve seen today and they’ll feel like they’re on a downward trajectory whereas Arsenal were absolutely all over the place three weeks ago and now they’ve left this stadium bouncing,’ he added.

‘They’re on the same points still so that’s football. But Arsenal look like a team who’ve got their players back. We watched the defeat to Brentford on the opening night and I was really worried with what I saw.

‘They were out-fought and out-thought as well. You felt it would be a long season for Arsenal and that Mikel Arteta was coming under a lot of pressure.

‘But today, when the team news came through and you saw the three young ones of Odegaard, Smith Rowe and Saka behind Aubameyang, and Arsenal’s pressing today was really important. It set the tone.’


MORE : Ian Wright singles out ‘brilliant’ Arsenal star Martin Odegaard after emphatic Tottenham win


MORE : Aaron Ramsdale annoyed with himself despite Arsenal’s dominant win over Tottenham

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