• Team ‘went back to doing the basics’ after trailing at break
  • Arteta says Arsenal ‘didn’t do simple things right’ in first half

A frank exchange of views in the Arsenal dressing room at half-time proved the foundation for their spectacular late comeback against Aston Villa. Arsenal returned to the top of the Premier League on Saturday lunchtime by coming back from 2-1 down to win 4-2, with the key moment a freak own goal in the third minute of added time by Emiliano Martínez after Jorginho’s shot had hit the bar. But in the euphoria of the victory Arteta sounded a note of concern on his team’s limp first-half performance, in which they twice fell behind.

He sent his players out early for the second half and elaborated on what was said. “We have to raise our individual level, look each other in the face and do much, much more if we want to win,” he said. “In the first half we didn’t do the simple things right. In the second half we dominated. We needed a magic moment and Jorginho produced it.

“If you want to be at the top, you have to win games in different ways. At some stage you’re going to have to win games in the 94th and the 96th minute, you have to score when you are down to 10 men, you have to score from set pieces. I think we showed a lot of resilience, character and quality. The dressing room is bouncing.”

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