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Mikel Arteta identifies his key man as Arsenal beat Tottenham

Arsenal boss salutes Gabriel Jesus influence

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta© Getty Images

Kevin PalmerSunday World

Arsenal sent out an early season marker as they thumped Tottenham 3-1 at Emirates Stadium, with Gunners boss Mikel Arteta quick to praise a change of mentality in his side as they cemented their position as Premier League leaders.

A rare Thomas Partey strike and goals from Gabriel Jesus and Granit Xhaka secured a well-deserved 3-1 win, Spurs losing for the first time in the league this season having equalised through Harry Kane’s penalty.

Partey got the ball rolling with his first Arsenal goal from outside the box in his 65th match for the Gunners, with Kane levelling from the spot to take his tally in this fixture to 14 in 18 appearances.

But the second half belonged to the hosts, Jesus striking on his north London derby debut and Xhaka continuing a fine run of form either side of Emerson Royal’s red card for Spurs.

Arteta insisted his team deserved collective praise after an impressive win, with summer signing Jesus singled out by his manager.

"It’s his winning mentality, the way he trains every day it brings confidence to the team and he has taken us to a different level,” said Arteta of the striker signed from Man City last summer.

"The players grabbed the game and deserved to win the it. It was the whole team - starting from the back to front. They really connected today.

"I hope this will give them more belief that they can win at this level in the way we want them to play.

"We have connected with our supporters and when that happens it is a really powerful thing.

"We have a really meaningful opportunity to give a lot of people happiness on a beautiful day and we have delivered that and it is a really great feeling.

"We are focussing on what we are doing. This is a sign that we are going in the right direction. We need to maintain that now and go for it.

"You feel the desire and humility - they haven't won anything yet and that is important to have that humility, which is a big driver for us."

Tottenham boss Antonio Conte suggested his side are not yet capable of competing consistently at the top of the table, as rumours continue to link the Italian with a return to his former club Juventus.

"I think the first half was in the balance,” said Conte. “We had many chances to score. We made a big mistake with the last pass because we had great space. In the second half we conceded a second goal early and we could do much better.

"With the the red card, [went] the game. It was a really difficult game after that. We had to change totally then. It was the referee’s decision and I don’t want to comment.

"We had the opportunity to exploit much better and stay up and I repeat that I think we made big mistakes in the last pass and with easy passes but it happens and straight after the national team it is a bit difficult because players arrive at a different time.

"Now we have to move on but we know our role in this league and we have to try and do our best to stay close to the other teams at the top. I tried to give minutes to players because the game had ended and also to try and save energy.

"I wanted to give players time especially (Oliver) Skipp and (Matt) Doherty because we need the whole squad because we have many games in front of us in a short period."


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