Every word Mikel Arteta said on Xhaka’s red card, Saka injury and Tottenham being called off

What are your thoughts on the game?

It was about the fight, the commitment, the quality that they showed. To play against that team it’s not our way but it was necessary to do. I asked them I want to see a team here that plays with emotion, that transmits everything we talked about every day and I’ve seen that so I’m really happy.

Did you get a chance to see Xhaka’s red card back?

No I haven’t seen it. I went to do the interviews outside and now here, so I cannot judge it. I haven’t seen the action.

Does this mean your favourites now with the second leg at home?

It means nothing. We play half-time, even probably less than that and we need another game and it’s an extraordinary opponent. We got a result that with the circumstances that we have to consider positive. But we have a second leg, and we’re going to need everybody back, and we’re going to need to create that great atmosphere at the Emirates with the fans hopefully that travelled here today – they made incredible noise and gave us incredible energy. We need to put a real game there and try to take the game to the opponent.

Does Xhaka’s suspension for Sunday’s match now make the North London Derby even harder?

Yes but we came here and we are missing nine or ten players already. Listen we don’t know what to expect the next day so we cannot be looking at that and all the time having to fall into that and use it as an excuse. We have to play games it is our job, that’s the situation we are in. It can change and it can change to be in a more difficult position. The team has to rebuild and we have players that are with a desire to play and on Sunday we’ll do the same thing.

How is Bukayo Saka after his injury?

He felt something in the last minute, he was really fatigued and I don’t know. He’s a young boy and he recovers really quickly, but he’s played a lot of minutes in the last month. So, let’s see how he develops.

Arsenal teams have been criticised in the past for a lack of fight. How would you summarise what has changed in this group of players?

When you come to a stadium like this I said to them, you have to pick players that you are happy to come to war. You are going to have to fight, you’re going to have difficult moments, you’re going to suffer. It’s about how you approach those moments. If you rebuild yourself, if you are willing to help your team then good things happen. At the end you get rewarded and I think that’s what happened today.

How does the satisfaction of 5-0 wins from last season compare to today’s game?

Well, it’s completely different. The circumstances, the context, you have to evaluate the result in each game. What we’ve done today for 70 minutes is extremely difficult to do. It shows how much we want it, we want to get into that final. We have the possibility in the second game to finalise it.

Do you have any doubts over Sunday’s game going ahead?

I don’t know, it’s a possibility in every game from our side, the opponent’s side because the amount of issues that every team is having. We’re trying to prepare for the game as usual, it is what it is.

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