Mikel Arteta lauds Arsenal fans for making a ‘huge difference’ on return to Emirates Stadium

Arsenal celebrate in front of their fans

Lacazette opened the scoring with a long-range strike before Pablo Mari, returning to the team for the first time since suffering an ankle injury in June, headed in a second, with academy graduates Eddie Nketiah and Emile Smith Rowe adding the gloss either side of Kohya Kitagawa’s consolation.

Independent Football Newsletter

Get the latest football headlines direct to your inbox twice a week

Read our full mailing list consent terms here

Independent Football Newsletter

Get the latest football headlines direct to your inbox twice a week

Read our full mailing list consent terms here

Arsenal have lost their last three Premier League home games but never looked in danger here, with Arteta reserving special praise for those in the stands.

READ MORE: Premier League fixtures and table — all games by date & kick-off time

“It was very special,” he said.

“I’m delighted to have them back, they made a huge contribution. We had 2,000 but it looked like many more.

  • Sloppy Spurs held by LASK but secure qualification
  • Leicester miss chance to seal group
  • Celtic’s woes continue after squandering lead in Milan

“They were very supportive and encouraging to the team, it makes a huge difference. Thanks so much to them for coming and supporting the team.

“I think the boys showed a great, energy, character and aggression today right from the beginning – everyone individually played a really good game.”

The issue now for Arsenal is their next league game is a north London derby away to table-topping Tottenham – who are one of 10 Premier League clubs in tier two, where two-thousand fans will be allowed to watch games.

Arteta admits clubs who can have fans present will have an edge as he takes his side across the divide knowing defeat will leave them 11 points behind Spurs.

Asked if it will give teams an advantage, the Spaniard replied: “Probably because this sport without fans is completely different.

“Everything is flatter, the players lose a little bit of purpose and emotion. It is something that you want to share.

“At the end of the day, we are here to entertain, we are here to make the fans enjoy.

“They have a huge passion for our football club and when they are able to transmit that, it gets directly into the players. For me, to have them here home or away, it is always different because of them.”

PA

This weekend get a £10 free bet with Betfair, when you bet £10 on a Same Game Multi on the Premier League. Terms: Min £10 Same Game Multi bet on any EPL match this Fri – Sun. Free bet valid for 72 hours, awarded at bet settlement. Excludes cashed out bets. T&Cs apply.

Source: Read Full Article