Champions League hopes alive for Arsenal as Arteta delights in thumping Newcastle win
PUBLISHED: 11:36 17 February 2020 | UPDATED: 11:36 17 February 2020
PA Wire/PA Images
Mikel Arteta was delighted with Arsenal’s 4-0 win over Newcastle United at the Emirates on Sunday afternoon, giving him hope that the Gunners can qualify for next season’s Champions League.
Second half goals from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Nicolas Pepe, Mesut Ozil and Alexandre Lacazette secured victory, moving Arsenal to within six points of fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur.
That fifth spot has become all-important, with Manchester City's two-year Champions League ban meaning the side who finish just outside the top four will secure a place in next season's competition.
It's give Arteta - who was assistant to Pep Guardiola at the Etihad - hope that the Gunners can make Europe's elite club competition.
"A week ago before we went to Dubai and we drew at Burnley everything looked like it was too far and it's going to take an incredible run to do it, but today it feels a little bit closer," he said.
"But it's going to depend on us and we need to improve as a team and be more consistent over 90 minutes.
You may also want to watch:
"If we're able to do that, performances will lead to much better results and if that's the case, we will be in the mix for the last few games of the season."
Despite the comfortable scoreline against Newcastle, Arsenal found it tough going in the first half with the Magpies' pacey attack causing them problems.
Arteta was far from pleased with his side in the opening 45 minutes, but he was delighted with their response after the break.
"We found it difficult in the first 20 or 30 minutes," he said.
"They're really compact and really organised, and we talked before the game that you can get a little bit frustrated and start to rush the decisions, and when that happens your team doesn't travel together and it becomes a transition game.
"They're so good with Joelinton holding up the ball and their wingers running, and that makes it a flip of the coin.
"I didn't like that game and after half an hour we started to control the situation much better.
"We started to get into the final third much more continuously and in the second half we tweaked one or two things and attached much better, and it allowed us to control the game in a much more efficient way."