What Mikel Arteta told David Raya after Arsenal blunder vs Tottenham | Football

Mikel Arteta embraces David Raya after Arsenal’s victory over Tottenham (Picture: Shutterstock)

David Raya has revealed Mikel Arteta praised his ‘character’ after he made a blunder in the north London derby but then helped Arsenal hang on to a crucial victory over Tottenham.

Arteta’s side were in complete control of the 195th north London derby after scoring three first-half goals through Bukayo Saka, Kai Havertz and a Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg own goal.

But a terrible mistake from Raya allowed Cristian Romero to pull a goal back for Spurs and the hosts scored again on 87 minutes, Son Heung-min converting a penalty after Declan Rice fouled Ben Davies.

Arsenal blew commanding leads on more than one occasion last season but the Gunners withstood more Tottenham pressure to clinch a 3-2 win and briefly move four points ahead of title rivals Manchester City.

Raya played no small part in the victory, claiming several crosses as Tottenham pushed for an equaliser, and Arteta was keen to make it clear to his goalkeeper that he was delighted with his response to the mistake.

Arteta made a beeline to Raya after the full-time whistle to embrace his No. 1 and praise his ‘character’.

‘What he said was just about the character that I showed after the mistake,’ Raya said. ‘Mistakes are part of football and you learn from them.

Cristian Romero scores after David Raya's mistake

Raya’s mistake gave Tottenham hope of a comeback (Picture: Getty)

‘I thought I was mentally very strong and I just forgot about the mistake, I just carried on playing my game and tried to help the team as much as possible. I think I showed that in the last 20 minutes. 

‘We had gained control until I made a mistake for the first goal. We had to bounce back and I thought the character from the team… everybody was willing to defend and to even get one more goal to settle the game, but we couldn’t and we gave away a penalty. 

‘It’s 3-2 and the last few minutes was a little bit more shaky for the people outside, but for us that’s our job and I really, really enjoyed that challenge to keep the ball out of the net and trying to help the team as much as possible on crosses. 

‘We showed great character collectively and it showed on the pitch. But every away game in the Premier League is tough.

‘But you have to believe in yourselves and believe in what the gaffer tells us to do, and the game plan that will help us to get the points that we need. 

‘But you are playing against really, really good opponents and Tottenham are really good at pressing. It showed on the mistake I made.

‘I shouldn’t have played that ball, I should have gone a little bit longer, but I wanted to control the game a little bit more, but it didn’t happen. It showed how good they are at pressing and the plan was different. That’s part of football.’

Arteta defended Raya after the north London derby win and described his reaction to the mistake as ‘sensational’.

‘It’s part of football,’ Arteta told reporters when asked about Raya’s blunder that led to Romero’s goal.

‘It’s a sequence of play, I don’t like it, I don’t like the principles that we apply in that moment and the orientation of the ball.

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‘After that, that can happen, you misjudge the situation, you try to make the pass and you don’t and you are in doubt. They scored to take advantage of that.

‘The penalty is another principle inside the box that you cannot do. It’s part of football.

‘What I love is that David does that [the mistake], he picks Gabriel Magalhaes up – that is quite heavy! – and then he was sensational in the last 20 to 25 minutes of the game. This is what I love about our players.’

Arsenal were only four points clear at the top of the Premier League for a couple of hours as Manchester City reduced the gap back to one with a 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest on Sunday evening.

Tottenham, meanwhile, stay fifth as they chase a Champions League spot, seven points behind Aston Villa but with two games in hand.

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