Mikel Arteta's Arsenal Top the 2023/2024 English Premier League Table for the First Time Since Christmas

Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal Top the 2023/2024 English Premier League Table for the First Time Since Christmas

Through their impressive run of form, Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal have joined in the mix of title contenders of the 2023/2024 English Premier League Season that also made up of Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool and Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City. Just yesterday, Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal, who were third after 27 league games in the current campaign, welcomed a chance to return to the first spot of the English top-flight football table when Brentford visited them at Emirates on Matchday 28 this season, and Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal did manage to pull off a 2-1 win before their home fans, leapfrogging both Reds and Cityzens as the current best team in the EPL.

Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal came into this home league encounter against Brentford on the back of seven consecutive victories in the English Premier League, and during this span of matches, Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal scored 31 goals and only conceded thrice.

With the momentum gained in the past seven league games, Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal managed to break the deadlock as early as the 19th minute following new summer signing Declan Rice. The starting central defensive midfielder for Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions was present when his older compatriot delivered a tempting cross into the penalty box. The ex-West Ham United footballer then rose to the highest to meet the pass with his head, scoring past Netherlands goalkeeper Mark Flekken for the game opener as a result.

Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal almost brought the 1-0 margin to the following 45 minutes, until Aaron Ramsdale committed a disastrous play that led to Brentford’s equaslier. The England shot stopper, who replaced David Raya due to the latter’s ineligibility to play against his parent club and started for the Gunners for the first time since November 2023, tried to give the ball away to his defender during a buildup play, but 27-year-old Congo striker Yoane Wissa was there to intercept the pass right before the Arsenal goal, and his effort would end in the back of the net for Brentford to level things up before the half-time break.

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Both teams went back and forth to find the potential winner of this Premier League clash, and there was only one team that would that do, and it was Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal. In the 86th minute, Norway and Arsenal captain Martin Ødegaard sent a through ball to unleash Ben White, who then found former Chelsea man Kai Havertz. The German headed the ball towards the Brentford goal and despite Flekken’s best attempt to save the ball, Havert’s shot was sufficient to get into the back of the net, allowing Mikel Arteta to move into the top place of the Premier League table by winning the game 2-1 after 90 minutes plus added time.

Later yesterday, second-placed Liverpool and third-placed Manchester City took on each other at Anfield for the 196th meeting between two of the most successful teams in the history of the English top-flight football. The three-time defending English champions and last season’s continental treble-winning Cityzens were able to take the lead thanks to a first-half effort by John Stones, but the Reds would storm back in the following 45 minutes courtesy of 2022 FIFA World Cup winner Alex Mac Allister from the spot. The stalemate meant Arsenal have advantages over Liverpool and City due to goal and point differences respectively. Check out this article for the full match details in the league clash between Klopp’s men and Pep’s side.

Arteta showed positivity when asked about Havertz’s justification over his transfer from one London club to another. “I’m so happy. If somebody told me after the first two or three months that the whole stadium would be singing his song with that passion, with that feeling, with that chemistry, I would have found it hard to believe. That’s what happens to good people. He’s an exceptional player. When he starts to score goals like this and everything starts to flow people feel more connected with him. They see his work rate, they see his intelligence, they see how he plays for the team and how he’s contributing. It’s impossible not to love him,” said the Spaniard.

The ex-midfielder continued to talk about Ramsdale from his earlier howler that almost costed Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal the crucial 3 points at the end: “I’m really happy especially because he did exactly what he is, which is a person with huge personality and courage, very determined. Errors are part of football. It’s how you react to it, especially for the keepers which is probably the most difficult position. He did so in an amazing way. I’m not surprised because the whole team and the whole stadium was behind him. He has earned that respect and admiration. We really wanted to win for him.”

Havertz, on the other hand, showed gratitude during the post-match conference after the Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal-Thomas Frank’s Brentford clash. “As a kid, I think you dream that you’re going to have moments like this in your career and Saturday I had something like this. The supporters made it very special to me and I’m very thankful to have this moment. Thank you to all of them. You always hope for that. I know maybe it wasn’t from the beginning but I always try to work hard and just not drop my confidence.” Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal will look forward to recover from their 1-0 deficit against FC Porto in the UEFA Champions League Last 16 second leg at Emirates next.

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