Mikel Arteta picks out two Arsenal stars as 'leaders' in big win over Tottenham

It was the forward players that grabbed the headlines for Arsenal in their 3-1 over Tottenham on Sunday, but manager Mikel Arteta has hailed the leadership and dominance shown by Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey in midfield.

The Gunners were in fine form in the first half as goals from Emile Smith Rowe, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Bukayo Saka put them 3-0 ahead in just 34 minutes.

Spurs fought back in the second half but never showed any real threat of getting something out of the north London derby as they slipped to their third straight defeat.

Smith Rowe and Saka in particular will have Arsenal fans purring on Sunday evening, but Arteta was equally pleased with the performances of Partey and the returning Xhaka at the base of midfield.

The Swiss was coming back from a suspension and was impressive alongside the Ghana international.

‘It was probably the exact mix that we need, the seniors players stepped in and dominated the game,’ Arteta told Sky Sports.

‘The leadership of Granit, of Thomas, the senior players. Then the youth, that is full of enthusiasm, life and good energy.’

Arteta was revelling in the victory, which was Arsenal’s third straight victory in the Premier League and puts the three straight defeats they started the season with further in the rear view mirror.

Asked what he was pleased with in the performance, he said: ‘The determination, the conviction and the connection with our people. It’s such a special day.

‘We came here to do what we spoke about before the game, they put it in an incredible way.

‘This is not about football. it’s the energy you feel when you’re here and the crowd is with you.’

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