Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta should be happy despite crushing Man City defeat

Arsenal v Man City: Match in pictures

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Mikel Arteta may have been left feeling crush following Manchester City’s last-gasp winner against Arsenal on Saturday, but he can be left feeling extremely happy about his sides performance, highlighting just how far they have come this season.

Arsenal suffered late heartbreak against Manchester City on Saturday as Rodri’s last-minute goal snatched all three points at the Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners took on the Premier League leaders without Mikel Arteta in the dugout, and with the damning 5-0 defeat in their back of their minds after they were dismantled by City back in August.

However, they look the lead through Bukayo Saka after 30 minutes, and controlled large periods of the game, testing City on many occasions throughout.

Riyad Mahrez levelled from the penalty spot before they scrambled a late winner, but even in defeat, the match proved just how far Arsenal have come since the start of the season.

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Cast your minds back to the September international break. Arsenal were rock bottom of the Premier League after making their worst ever start to a top-flight season.

After three games, they had zero points and hadn’t even managed to score a goal as they headed into September under the cosh.

Arteta was under immense pressure after spending £150m in the transfer window and the club were in a state of crisis, but fast forward to the present day, they’re currently fourth and deservedly holding that final Champions League spot.

The contrast in performances was telling just five months later, as Arsenal proved one of the biggest tests to the Champions all season, and on a different day they may have secured a different result.

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VAR was again at the centre of controversy as Martin Odegaard was denied what looked to be a clear penalty, meaning that Arsenal may have found themselves 2-0 up against the Premier League leaders.

It was stunning first half regardless, a half that Arsenal found themselves 3-0 down in during the reverse fixture at the Etihad, and the miraculous change that Arteta has imposed on his side is not one to be ignored.

Arteta’s signings have gelled and the likes of Aaron Ramsdale, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Ben White and Odegaard have all become vital members of the Arsenal side.

Arsenal have also received a boost with the handling of the Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang situation, and it appears that the squad have all bought into Arteta’s plans even more so since the Gunners boss took disciplinary action on the former captain.

In Aubameyang’s absence, Gabriel Martinelli, Saka and even Alexandre Lacazette have stepped up, and Arsenal have been in excellent form, winning five games on the bounce until their last-minute defeat to City.

One thing that will worry Arteta however, is their failure to produce results against some of the ‘big six’, as both defeats to City have been matched with failures against Chelsea and Liverpool, although they have found success against Tottenham this season.

But it’s very much a process under Arteta and his side are head and shoulders above the standard that they were at the start of the season, and the Spaniard will be hoping for an impressive finish this season.

Pressure has more than eased on Arteta, and he’s finally being accepted as the right man for the job, after two years of speculation.

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