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Premier League – Mikel Arteta: Arsenal win over Newcastle United was exactly what we needed

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was pleased to come away from the game with Newcastle United with all three points.

The win moved the side into ninth place and the Gunners are still in with a chance of qualifying for next season’s Europa League.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Arteta said: “This game showed our focus is still there in the Premier League. We believe that anything is possible if you’re picking up points and we wanted to put bad results out of the way.

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“We had a great attitude, some moments of real quality and had total control from the start.

“We refreshed the team because we’ve played so many games. Thursday was very demanding but the team was really committed and focused on this game and that’s why we won.

We controlled the game and we accelerated it when we needed to. The early goal gave us confidence which we needed after the defeat on Thursday.

“We have to do as well as we can and finish as high as we can. You need big performances and we had that today.”

After watching David Luiz suffer a nasty-looking injury, Arteta commiserated: “It’s incredible the amount of injuries we’ve had. We’re losing big players.

“It’s a shame because David had made a big effort.”

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Focusing back on the game at hand, Arteta was now concentrating on the week’s Europa League semi-final second leg, saying: “We got what we wanted, to win the game and keep a clean sheet.

“We had strong performances individually and collectively we were the better side. I wanted to be fresh for today and Thursday so that was to give an opportunity to everybody. That will give us a headache.

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“It was an important goal [from Mohamed Elneny] because it gives you confidence and a good platform to start the game.

“We missed [Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang] for a few weeks with illness. He is getting back to fitness slowly. Today we played him to see how he was and he looked good.

“I think [Dani Ceballos] was really good again and he showed the character he has to play.

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“Winning and playing the way we have done today gives the team comfort and confidence. It’s exactly what we need. We believed we can beat them and we did.”

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