Mikel Arteta hails Arsenal players following Chelsea draw, lauds starlet’s courage

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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta hailed his players following last night’s 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge.

The Gunners were reduced to ten men after David Luiz was sent off for his foul on Tammy Abraham in the penalty area. Jorginho converted the ensuing spot-kick to open the scoring for Chelsea. However, Arsenal equalised thanks to Gabriel Martinelli who scored his tenth goal of the season.

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Blues skipper Cesar Azpilicueta restored the lead for the club in the 84th minute before Hector Bellerin’s left-footed strike salvaged a point for the Gunners.

Arteta praised his players following the match and also gave a special mention to Martinelli for his courage. As quoted by Goal.com, the Arsenal manager said: “To play in this stadium the way he has done with 10 men and against Azpilicueta, who in my opinion is one of the best defenders in the league, and he was going against him every single time, you need courage to do that. Then his energy. I wanted to take him off a few times because he looked knackered, he was cramping and next minute he’s sprinting 60 yards again.

“Not just him. I think Laca [Alexandre Lacazette] is playing at a really good level, even though he’s not scoring, and Nico [Nicolas Pepe] as well, and everybody that’s coming in. They are fighting really hard in training to try to convince us to play more. When they question some things I tell them [to] speak on the pitch and this is to speak on the pitch.”

Arsenal have been improving under Arteta but they need wins now to stand a chance of reaching the top four. Following last night’s draw, the Gunners remain in tenth position in the Premier League with 30 points, ten behind the top four.

Arsenal’s next match is an FA Cup fixture against Bournemouth at Dean Court on Monday.

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