Mikel Arteta claims Arsenal have closed the gap on Liverpool in four areas

Mikel Arteta speaking to Sky Sports after Arsenal's Premier League win over Liverpool
Mikel Arteta was delighted with his side’s performance (Picture: Sky Sports)

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta was buoyed by the manner of his side’s 2-1 win against Liverpool and says it would not have been possible when he took the job in December.

The Gunners kept their Europa League hopes alive with a spirited victory against the Premier League champions, who lost for just the third time this season,

Sadio Mane opened the scoring for Jurgen Klopp’s men but Arsenal capitalised on mistakes from Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker in the first half to score first through Alexandre Lacazette and then through Reiss Nelson.

The Gunners remain 40 points behind Liverpool but they showed the type of fight that many accused the club of lacking under Unai Emery and Arsene Wenger to see out the victory.

And, while Arteta admits his side do not possess the quality of Liverpool, he says they’ve closed the gap on Klopp’s men by equalling their energy, commitment, fight and accountability.

Arsenal put in a spirited display (Picture: Getty)

Asked about the scale of the job at Arsenal, Arteta said: ‘[It’s] Massive. You only need to look at the difference between the two teams today and the gap is enormous.

‘But the gap in many areas we cannot improve it in two months but the gap between the accountability, the energy, the commitment and the fight of the two teams is equal and before it wasn’t like this and I am very proud of this.

‘The rest will take some time. But at least that we got it now and my message to the players is with that we can create something’.

Arsenal will likely need six points from their final two fixtures to gain a place in the Europa League but the Gunners will fancy their chances.

They face Aston Villa at Villa Park next week before taking on Watford at the Emirates on the final day of the season.

The Hornets could be safe by that point should they beat fellow relegation rivals West Ham on Friday.

MORE: Mikel Arteta sends message to Arsenal board and points out ‘big concern’ after Liverpool win

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