Mikel Arteta and Arsenal are not planning on taking their foot off the accelerator despite going seven points clear at the top of the Premier League, with both the manager and the players believing ‘we still can play better.’
With both Manchester City and Newcastle failing to win earlier in the day, Arsenal knew that if they took all three points when they travelled to Brighton, they would start 2023 seven points clear at the top of the table.
Arsenal have struggled against Brighton in recent years, winning none of their last three, two of which they lost.
Of the last 10, Arsenal have failed to win eight of them, before New Year’s Eve.
So, it was a tough task but one Arsenal (mostly) took in their stride.
Bukayo Saka opened the scoring with just over a minute on the clock while Martin Odegaard made it two before the break.
An Eddie Nketiah special from a yard out made it three not long in to the second half and the points were secure, even if Arsenal wobbled when Arteta changed his fullbacks.
Odegaard’s pass of the season to put Martinelli in to make it four made the result safe.
After the game, Arteta said he was excited to find the players in the dressing room discussing what they could do better.
“My excitement comes when I go in the dressing room and the players are talking about what they should’ve done better today,” Arteta told reporters.
“That means they know that we still can play better, be better and against Newcastle we will have to be better.”
Newcastle are, of course, next up for Arsenal before they face Oxford United in the FA Cup and then a trip to Tottenham for Spurs’ annual cup final.