Mikel Arteta challenged his Arsenal players to be relentless in their bid for the Premier League title after they moved five points clear of Manchester City, declaring: “We’re not going to stop”.
Gabriel Martinelli’s brace, coupled with goals from Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard, helped Arsenal crush struggling Everton 4-0 in their game in hand over rivals City on Wednesday.
While Arsenal started slowly against Sean Dyche’s side, they eventually turned on the style to win their third league game in a row – and claim their 100th league victory against Everton.
The Gunners’ commanding win puts daylight between them and second-placed City – who briefly overhauled them at the summit following a 3-1 victory at the Emirates Stadium last month.
Asked whether Arsenal’s thrashing of Everton made them title favorites, Arteta said: “You know my answer there!
“What I like is that everybody has the enthusiasm to do it, and we’re not going to stop that – we have to promote that.
“But the way to promote that is by looking at this game and understanding that we have to do a lot of things better, especially in the first half.
“We can play better and make sure we prepare really well against Bournemouth because that’s going to be a tough game.”
Asked how Arsenal could find the mental strength required to beat City to the title, Arteta said: “It is something that we have to train and discuss and build.
“It is not easy, but a lot of time it happens through experiences, and most of the time they are experiences that you don’t want to go through, but the calendar and fixtures are going to give that.
“Sometimes you are where we are now, sometimes it is three points [difference], two points, minus two – it is going to happen and we have to live with that.”
Arsenal take on relegation-threatened Bournemouth in their next game on Saturday, before switching their attentions to a Europa League last-16 tie against Sporting CP.