‘I am very happy!’: Mikel Arteta on cloud nine after Arsenal’s five-goal Boxing Day win over Norwich… as he insists ‘unity’ of players and fans is at its peak amid their four-game winning run
- Arsenal picked up a resounding 5-0 win away at Norwich on Boxing Day
- Bukayo Saka netted a brace to inspire the Gunners to victory at Carrow Road
- Mikel Arteta’s side have now won their last four Premier League matches
- Arteta believes his team are beginning to find an identity after a tough start
Mikel Arteta hailed the development of his free-scoring Arsenal team as they reinforced their top four ambitions.
‘We go to every ground to try to impose our game and this was a really good example,’ said Arteta after a crushing Norwich 5-0.
‘It is a big win for us. We looked sharp and committed. I am very happy. It is not easy to win away in the Premier League. The way we were dominant from the beginning and the quality we showed, I am very happy.
Mikel Arteta (left) was delighted with Arsenal’s 5-0 win away at Norwich on Boxing Day
‘The direction the team is taking, how we are growing, the understanding, the unity and the support from our supporters in every ground is very much linked with the way we want to play.
‘The unity around the club and with our fans is very pleasing.’
Bukayo Saka opened the scoring in the sixth minute and made it 3-0 after a goal by Kieran Tierney. Alex Lacazette scored a late penalty and Emile Smith Rowe added the fifth in stoppage time.
Norwich boss Dean Smith was disappointed with the performance of his team. who were jeered off the pitch at the end by the home fans.
Bukayo Saka was on hand with a brace for the Gunners in their win at Carrow Road
‘Two games ago we were going toe-to-toe with Manchester United,’ said Smith. ‘We had the fans out of their seats and behind us, but this performance was as flat as we’ve had. It was littered with unforced errors.
‘We’re better than that. Our standards have dropped massively from the Manchester United game. Yes there are reasons, but I’m not here to make excuses because we should be better than that.
‘We want the fans to keep the faith, to give us the belief we need but we have to give them something back as well. We’ve not scored in four games. We’ve had chances and not taken them.’
Norwich are bottom of the Premier League, three points adrift of Watford in 17th but they have now played two games more.
‘We’ve got to make ourselves harder to beat,’ said Smith. ‘We need to start winning games and clawing other teams in there with us.’
Both Arsenal and Norwich are back in action on Tuesday.
‘I’ve described it as lunacy and it’s still lunacy,’ said Smith. ‘To expect elite footballers to put their bodies through what they do for 90 minutes and recover in less than 48 hours is lunacy.’