Mikel Arteta reveals Spurs weakness that Arsenal ‘spotted’ and exposed | Football

Kai Havertz put Arsenal three goals in front before the half-time break at Tottenham (Picture: Getty)

Mikel Arteta said he was ‘super happy’ after Arsenal emerged from the north London derby with a 3-2 victory and revealed how his side had targeted Tottenham’s frailties in defending corners at their near post.

Arsenal looked to be cruising towards a comfortable win as Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg nodded the ball into his own net from a corner before Bukayo Saka struck to give the Premier League leaders a two-goal advantage inside half an hour.

Kai Havertz headed home in the 38th minute as the visitors once again wreaked havoc from a corner and Arsenal supporters could be forgiven for thinking the game was wrapped up at the halfway stage at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

But Cristian Romero capitalised on a shocking blunder from Arsenal goalkeeper David Raya before Son Heung-min converted from the penalty spot to set up an absorbing finish.

However, Arteta’s men kept hold of their narrow lead to secure victory, sending them four points clear of Manchester City ahead of the champions’ clash with Nottingham Forest this evening.

Arsenal’s first and third goals were their 20th and 21st of the campaign from set pieces and Nicolas Jover – the club’s set-piece coach – has received widespread praise for the side’s success from corners and free-kicks this season.

‘It’s been the same Arsenal set-up all year and it’s been good all year,’ former Manchester United and England right-back Gary Neville said on Sky Sports’ commentary of the game.

‘He’s a little nuisance that set-piece coach, but he’s damn good!’

Arsenal and Spurs

Højbjerg’s own goal set Arsenal on their way in the 15th minute (Picture: Getty)

In his post-match interview with Sky Sports, Arteta revealed that Arsenal had ‘spotted’ Tottenham’s weakness at defending their near post from corners before the match had even kicked off.

Asked whether he had Arsenal had targeted Spurs in that area, a grinning Arteta replied: ‘I’m not going to tell you that!’

Pressed for an answer, the Spaniard responded: ‘Obviously every team has certain spaces in open play that we want to attack and the one that we scored is one that we spotted.

‘Yeah, we have our weakness as well and we’re trying not to highlight them too much.’

Arteta’s men held on to emerge with maximum points (Picture: Getty)

Arteta admitted his side rode their luck at times in the second half but insisted it was ‘a day to be proud’ for Arsenal supporters.

‘It is a really tough place to come. Unbelievable atmosphere, great team,’ he added

‘We were superb, really well organised, efficient, especially in the first half. We started the second half really well, we were in control of the game.

‘We could have scored the fourth one and then we made an error, we conceded a goal and it’s game on.

‘From there you have to dig in and manage the game, you have to have a bit of luck at times when you need it.

‘We concede the second one that is not very usual and then pray, defend your box. They throw everything forward, Romero was playing as a striker in the last 25 to 30 minutes and, yeah, anything can happen.

‘But to win big things you have to go through these moments and obviously I’m super happy because it’s a day to be proud, it’s a day that means so much to these supporters.

‘Hopefully they can enjoy a beautiful evening.’

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