Mikel Arteta heaps praise on Declan Rice after Man Utd win

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta heaped praise on midfielder Declan Rice following the club’s impressive 3-1 comeback win over Manchester United in the Premier League.

The Gunners were the dominant side in the opening half, but United took the lead in the 27th minute against the run of play. However, there was an immediate response with Martin Odegaard equalising less than 40 seconds after the restart.

In the second half, the north London giants pushed for the winning goal. Bukayo Saka squandered a wonderful chance to find the winner. The club graduate hit his shot straight at goalkeeper Andre Onana from a few yards out.

Alejandro Garnacho scored for United just moments later, but luckily the goal was deemed offside. Declan Rice eventually grabbed the headlines with his match-winning goal in the 96th minute. The club’s record signing was afforded space in the box and found the net at the near post after a slight deflection.

Gabriel Jesus ended any chance of a United comeback with the Gunners’ third on the counter-attack in the 100th minute. Speaking after the game, Arteta hailed a ‘tremendous’ performance from Rice and said that he was ‘really dominant’. The Spaniard added that he was ‘really happy’ with him.

He was quoted as saying Arsenal.com: “I think a tremendous performance. When you look at a holding midfielder and how he needs to dominate his area and the pressing that is needed.”

“How he breaks up play, how he glues the team together in many moments when it was stretching a little bit. He was really dominant and then produced a magic moment to win the game, so I’m really happy with him.”

Rice had a brilliant all-round game against the Red Devils. He controlled possession in the centre of the park with a pass accuracy of 88 per cent. He also won 100 per cent of his aerial duels alongside two interceptions, one tackle and one clearance.

The midfielder capped the display with a match-defining goal and this should boost his confidence for the rest of the season. He was unlucky not to score on his debut last month, but made the difference yesterday with a crucial stoppage-time winner.

Arsenal are now fifth in the Premier League with 10 points. They face a tricky game against Everton at Goodison Park following the international break.

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