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Granit Xhaka reckons Mikel Arteta outsmarted Thomas Tuchel tactically to give the perfect answer to Arsenal's critics against Chelsea – and has urged them to keep the momentum going against Manchester United.
The Gunners ended a three-match losing streak with a huge 4-2 win at Stamford Bridge to storm right back into the Champions League chase. And with top-four rivals United next up at the Emirates in Saturday's early kick-off, midfielder Xhaka insists they must keep their foot on the gas.
Asked whether Wednesday night's result was the best answer to three losses on spin, Xhaka said: "Yes, I think so.
"The last three games were very disappointing for us, with zero points after three games. It is not what we wanted. But what we wanted was to show a reaction and I think, over 90 minutes, we deserved to win the game. It was a great team performance, tactically amazing, and it was a big three points for us."
Xhaka reckons it was Arteta's attention to detail that made the difference against the Blues, with the Gunners switching to three at the back and making several in-game changes. He said: "We knew what we had to do if they were playing a different formation. They changed as well two or three teams their formation, so we had to adapt.
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"We trained all the week on this. We were prepared very well, you saw that on the pitch. Of course, it doesn’t mean you are good and organised every time, but the guys were working very hard without the ball. When we had the ball we were good and created good chances to score maybe one or two more, but in the end we take the three points like this. It was a big game for us, for the fans, for the club, a derby. To win today, like this, we are very happy."
Xhaka is now urging his team-mates to show the same fight and character that was on full display at the Bridge, where they won for only the second time in ten attempts. He said: "It give us hope for fourth spot. Absolutely. We are there now again. We have six final games and the next one is Manchester United on Saturday.
"We have to show the same character, the same spirit. We want to take the three points, we want to keep it going at home. And after, the next week, I think, will be more quiet for us."
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