Martin Odegaard reveals Mikel Arteta used Newcastle controversy as Arsenal motivation | Football

The Norwegian says Arsenal were itching for revenge (Picture: Stadium Astro)

Martin Odegaard has revealed that Mikel Arteta used Arsenal’s controversial defeat at St James’ Park to fire up the squad prior to their thumping 4-1 victory over Newcastle United.

The north Londoners had a few rights to wrong going into Saturday’s match, having lost the reverse fixture earlier in the season and suffered a last-gasp 1-0 defeat in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against Porto in midweek.

They showed no signs of a European hangover, however, and put Newcastle to the sword with a dominant display.

A Sven Botman own goal from a typically dangerous set-piece opened the scoring after just 18 minutes, with Kai Havertz doubling the lead not long after.

Bukayo Saka and Jakub Kiwior added further gloss to the scoreline in the second half, though former Gunner Joe Willock did manage to net a late consolation goal for the visitors.

Arsenal’s win exacted some measure of revenge for their 1-0 defeat at St James’ Park, with that game having been decided by a controversial goal from Anthony Gordon in which the Gunners felt there were three different offences: the ball going out of play, a foul on Gabriel Magalhaes and a potential offside.

Arteta is known for using such incidents to fuel his team and Odegaard has confirmed that the St James’ Park controversy was mentioned pre-match.

Asked if the handsome victory was the perfect response to losing in Porto, Odegaard told Stadium Astro: ‘Yeah I think it was.

Newcastle beat Arsenal with controversial goal

Arsenal were livid after losing at St James’ Park (Pictures: Getty / Sky Sports)

‘I think everyone was very disappointed after the game but we turned around so quick.

‘The mindset after the game was just straight on Newcastle.

‘We wanted to come here and show a different side and after the Porto game, after what happened to us against Newcastle last time away, I think that was enough fire for us into the game and we showed that on the pitch.’

Probed on whether Arteta had used the controversial defeat at Newcastle in a similar way to the infamous Ivan Toney tweet he put up on the tactics board several years ago, Odegaard replied: ‘Yeah he used it.

‘And I think all the players also, I think we all remember what happened there and we came into the game with that in mind and I think we used it in a good way.’

Arsenal’s win sees them keep pace with Liverpool and Manchester City in the Premier League title race and they are next in action a week on Monday away to relegation strugglers Sheffield United.

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