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Dublin: -1°C Friday 4 December 2020

Arsenal boss Arteta commends Dundalk for sticking to their guns

The Premier League club recorded a 3-0 win over the Oriel Park outfit in the Europa League tonight.

britain-soccer-europa-league Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta with Dundalk boss Filippo Giovagnoli at full-time. Source: Matt Dunham

ARSENAL MANAGER MIKEL Arteta praised Dundalk for staying true to the principles of their approach despite going down 3-0 in tonight’s Europa League clash.

The game at the Emirates Stadium was still scoreless entering the 42nd minute, but the complexion was then changed dramatically by strikes from Eddie Nketiah and Joe Willock which gave the home side a two-goal cushion at the break.

Nicolas Pepe capped the win with a sublime effort within a minute of the restart, as the Gunners made it two wins from two in Group B.

Dundalk, who set up in a 5-3-2 formation, will have their next assignment in the competition when they go to Austria next Thursday to take on Rapid Vienna.

“I didn’t know how they were going to play,” Arteta said of the League of Ireland side. “They’ve been playing 4-3-3 all season and 4-1-4-1, and I knew they could come back after what we’ve seen in the last few weeks and play with five at the back. We were prepared for that.

“They’re a really committed team, the way they go about every ball, and they try hard. Credit to them for what they’ve done in the last few months but I’m happy to beat them.”

Despite the considerable gulf in quality between the two teams, Dundalk weren’t deterred from continuing to play the ball out from the back, instead of resorting to a long-ball approach in order to relieve the relentless pressure.

willian-with-john-mountney Arsenal's Willian tangling with John Mountney of Dundalk. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

“I think it’s their style and it’s their philosophy, and it shows the personality that the coaching staff has and how much the players believe in them,” added Arteta.

“I think that’s a really positive thing to show. It doesn’t matter where they play, they can adapt the way they play, but the style of play doesn’t change.”

Arsenal, who face Manchester United in the Premier League on Sunday, were comprehensive winners tonight, despite fielding a team that showed 10 changes from last weekend’s defeat to Leicester City.

Arteta said: “I’m really pleased with the way we went about the game. It’s always a danger that you feel it’s going to be a comfortable game and you make it really complicated, but that wasn’t the case. Our attitude from the beginning was spot on.”

The42 GAA Weekly is here! Join hosts Shane Dowling and Marc Ó Sé as they preview Tipperary v Limerick, Donegal v Tyrone, and the rest of the weekend’s action:

Source: The42 Podcasts/SoundCloud

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Paul Dollery

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