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Mikel Arteta hails Arsenal reaction in 3-1 win over Aston Villa

·2-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Mikel Arteta hailed his Arsenal side for bouncing back from Monday’s draw with Crystal Palace by beating Aston Villa.

Arsenal were poor during their draw with Palace, taking the lead but allowing Patrick Vieira’s back into the game and eventually needing a last-minute equaliser to claim a point.

After the game, Arteta said his team had played with “the handbrake on” and he urged them to put things right against Villa.

The Gunners did just that, winning 3-1 thanks to goals from Thomas Partey, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Emile Smith Rowe.

“What I liked the most is the way the team reacted on Monday evening, how we finished the game and how they were in the dressing room,” said Arteta.

“Accepting that it wasn’t good enough, that we played to a really good level in some parts, but to a level that is not acceptable in others. We are the youngest team in the league, but that is not an excuse.

“We cannot change the age, so we cannot find these kind of excuses. We have to find why those things happen in the game, find the right solutions and then put them right and believe they can play at that level, because they can.”

Smith Rowe was the standout performer on a great night for Arsenal, scoring a goal and claiming the man of the match award.

It is the midfielder’s third goal in five games for the Gunners and Arteta wants the 21-year-old to make finding the net a regular part of his game.

“That should be a habit and he should demand that in his game because he is capable of doing it,” said Arteta. “I’m pleased that is developing

“He still needs to develop more in other areas as well. The other night [against Crystal Palace] he wasn’t 100 per cent fit, but he stepped forward and he wanted to play with a difficult injury that he had.

“There is no complaining, he is just looking forwards, he is really determined, he has changed the way he is living as well a little bit and some of the habits that he had and he’s been superb.”

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