Mikel Arteta was left fuming with Moises Caicedo in Arsenal’s entertaining 2-2 draw with Chelsea on Saturday.
The midfielder’s work rate and reading of the game ensured Chelsea enjoyed plenty of possession in the first half. He won back the ball on a number of occasions and didn’t shy away from getting stuck in.
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Throughout the London derby, Arteta fumed at Caicedo for some of his hard-hitting tackles on Arsenal players. But when the game was done Arteta let bygones be bygones and shared an embrace with his adversary.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side looked as if they would be the ones to end the Gunner’s undefeated streak in the Premier League this campaign with less than 15 minutes of regular time to go.
Chelsea led 2-0 courtesy of Cole Palmer and Mykhaylo Mudryk, yet a superb comeback from Arsenal ensured the points would be shared at Stamford Bridge.
Declan Rice latched onto a poor pass from Chelsea shot-stopper Robert Sanchez and guided the ball into an empty net to halve the deficit before Leandro Trossard sealed a dramatic point for the Gunners as he met Saka’s cross at the back post.
After the game, Arteta praised his team’s “phenomenal character”. “We didn’t play with enough purpose and clarity in the first half but the way we reacted was phenomenal,” said Arteta.
“I have no doubt about our character. I could see at half-time that we knew we had to do much better. I love that about the team. This is who we are.”
He added: “Even though we conceded in a situation like the goal of Mudryk, we kept going and they did exactly what we asked of them, that you never give up and we continued to go and go.
“We should have scored a goal earlier, we didn’t, but the team was always there to fight until the end. In the end, we got a point after a really difficult result and the way it started.”
Pochettino, on the other hand, was left disappointed with the draw. “I’m disappointed because until the 77th minute we had the game under control against an amazing team,” Pochettino said.
“Mistakes can happen. It was unlucky because Arsenal’s first goal gave them belief. We need to know when to be calm and when to take risks. That will happen because we are still a really young team. There is a lot to be proud of and we need to take the positives.”