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  • By Yann Tear at Emirates Stadium

Belief can grow after such an important win, Arteta declares after thrilling triumph over Liverpool

Mikel Arteta says Arsenal's thrilling victory over Liverpool will harness confidence and allow players to believe they can really mix it with the best.

He stopped short of declaring it a watershed moment, but the manner of the players' obvious delight at the end of the 3-2 win made it clear how important it could be to the club.

Coming so soon after the north London derby win, the Gunners look able to compete against the best teams at last and they are back on top of the Premier League table.

"I don't know if it's my best win as Arsenal manager, but I'm really, really happy today," said Arsenal's boss.

"At the moment, we must enjoy where we are and have even more determination to believe that we can play at that level when we go at that rhythm and play with the courage that we played with in the second half. We go step by step.

"That feeling of winning is so powerful and so meaningful for me today because I saw a team today that I can really identify with: The personality they showed in difficult moments, how they stick to what they have to do, but at the same time courage, to have the free mind to go for it.

"I think on the day, if we play at our best, we have a chance against anybody but winning a football match is dictated by a lot of things that you have to control."

He added: "Hopefully they will have more confidence that they can compete and play at this level - and win, which is the most important thing. With this enthusiasm and empathy between them."

As for a tilt at the title? "I'm not going to mention it," he said. "You're not going to hear it from me. I'm really happy where we are and let's try to continue to build."

There is little doubt who the main stars were on Sunday at the Emirates - the two goalscorers who terrorised Liverpool on the flanks.

Arteta said of Gaby Martinelli, scorer of the opener after just 58 seconds: "He's a great player and today he had an outstanding performance again. Against a top defender in a top team. And he made a difference in the game. He makes things happen. He has hunger and determination."

And he said this of Bukayo Saka, and his willingness to take the spot kick which won the game, considering the penalty miss he suffered in last year's Euro final at Wembley: "That was a difficult moment that was an incredible learning curve for him in his career and experience.

"Everyone around him helped him to [overcome that] - starting with the England national team, with Gareth [Southgate], with everybody who supported him. And the boy continues to believe he can take them under pressure and he really enjoys that responsibility."


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