Mikel Arteta revealed he ordered his team to play with more purpose following an insipid first-half display against Brighton.
Arsenal enjoyed a morale-boosting win over Chelsea on Boxing Day to end a run of seven games without a win in the Premier League, but looked unlikely to build on the momentum generated by that victory at the halfway stage at the Amex.
Fellow strugglers Brighton restricted Arsenal to just a solitary attempt on goal in the opening period, but the visitors dominated after the restart after Arteta’s half-time team talk.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Gabriel Martinelli both went close to breaking the deadlock before substitute Alexandre Lacazette opened the scoring 21 seconds after entering the pitch, benefiting from superb approach play by Bukayo Saka.
Asked what he said to prompt a much improved second-half performance, Arteta told Amazon: ‘That was the word (purpose) that we wanted the actions that we having, the spaces we were attacking.
‘We were not threatening in areas we need to, but we were straight away in the second half. We looked much more confident, much more energised and we played forward basically much more than we did in the first half.
‘We know we’ve been struggling with results. The fact we won against Chelsea was a big boost. To come here and get another win was massively important.
‘I’m proud for the boys and happy for the result. [Alexandre] Lacazette is in a good moment. He’s full of confidence. We wanted to change the team in the second half and give it some freshness.
‘The best medicine is wins. It’s a different world and a different story. The picture looks much better.”
”Any manager it’s hard enough considering the context – it’s been quite a challenge. I’ve suffered in some moments but I have great people around me.’
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