Last year's thumping at Tottenham helped Arsenal win this time around, says delighted Arteta
Mikel Arteta believes Arsenal learnt lessons from last season's chastening 3-0 defeat at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium which helped them make it a far different experience this time around.
They had to repel a Spurs fightback at the start of the second half, having established a two-goal lead, but once they had, they looked increasingly confident and assured. They may not win the title this season but it was the performance of champions.
"That day was difficult and we learned some lessons, " said the Arsenal boss. "It brought the team and the club even more together and it probably was necessary to have that enjoyment that we are having today.
"To have emotional control in these matches is extremely important and that we discussed in the week. They are young [our players but they start to believe more and more and they start to have these experiences and there's nothing better as an experience than to come here and win and play the way they played."
Arteta captured the joyous mood by adding: "I'm very happy for two reasons: One because I saw a team with a lot of courage, determination and quality that really wanted it today - to come here and win the game. The other is that we are privileged and can make a lot of people really happy and we have this opportunity.
"You have to try to do it so the enjoyment of victory with the fans was a great feeling. Everything that we do, the suffering, the work we do, it makes a lot of sense when you have moments like this.
"Psychologically and emotionally [this felt like more than just three points]. Obviously there is a big history between the two clubs and it means so much for us and our people to win this game.
"Eight points ahead is a great position to be in and let's enjoy every single moment. Let's keep focusing.
"I've been in the dressing room and am just feeling the joy of togetherness around the team and how much it meant for them. It's special. We are here because of the way we play, the unity we have and we must not forget that. Tomorrow we have to try and do exactly the same and carry on."
The match ended on a sour note, with an altercation between Aaron Ramsdale - celebrating the win and his own outstanding performance - and Richarlison who did not like him confronting home fans with a first-pump. A fan kicked out at the Arsenal keeper and there may well be ramifications.
Arteta said: "I didn't see anything. Just that beautiful game of football. Aaron [Ramsdale] had some great saves and I love that because we needed that to win here. We will del with that. I don't want that taking 0.0001 per cent enjoyment, satisfaction that we have at the moment."