Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta appreciated the “aggressiveness and determination” of his players during the offensive demonstration against Lens (6-0) on Wednesday, synonymous with qualification for the knockout stages of the Champions League, with first place in the group as a bonus.
“I didn’t even dream of that! We had the opportunity to qualify with first place in the group, we did it in a convincing way against a really good team,” rejoiced the Gunners coach at a press conference.
“From the start, the team showed a lot of aggressiveness, determination, to move forward. Everything went well, especially the first thirty minutes. I'm very happy that we won this match, we did the job." Arsenal already led 4-0 in the 27th minute against an overwhelmed Lensois, guilty of fatal defensive errors.
This is the largest defeat of a French club in European competition since that inflicted by Parma on Bordeaux (6-0) in March 1999 in the UEFA Cup, according to statistician Opta.
Arteta particularly liked the rage to win displayed by his players, notably Gabriel Jesus who celebrated a tackle at the end of the match as if he had scored. “When the team has this body language, living every action and every match as we do, it portends good things,” said the technician. “It’s like the fans, they want more. They celebrated it and they play every ball with us. When there's that connection, it's really powerful. The team wants to win, not to concede anything and that is the mentality we need to become better,” he continued.