Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has revealed what he said to his players at half-time during their Premier League clash with Aston Villa on Saturday.
The Gunners came from behind to beat the Lions 4-2 at Villa Park, including two goals in stoppage-time for their first top-flight victory in four games.
Coming into the game on the back of two defeats and a draw in their last three league games, Arteta's side found themselves headed for another potential setback after trailing 2-1 at the break.
Bukayo Saka canceled out Ollie Watkins' opener with a spectacular strike but Philippe Coutinho restored Villa's lead soon after as Unai Emery's side looked to inflict further misery on them.
However, Arteta spurred his side on with some motivational words at the break and Arsenal asserted their dominance in the second-half to score thrice and walk away with all three points.
The Spaniard later revealed what he said to his team. Speaking to the press after the break, he said (via Football.London):
"At half-time I had to tell them, ‘What I said a few days ago is not because I think something is different, you have to do it and the moment is now, after 45 minutes it’s gone’ and they really reacted."
"It’s now, it’s now, it’s now. After that, it’s looking at each other, ‘we should have done that’. We have to raise individual level and do the simple things right and play with much more purpose and quality. We are there, tomorrow we train, recover and go again - it’s going to be a long journey!"
Oleksandr Zinchenko made it 2-2 for Arsenal in the 61st minute before Emiliano Martinez inadvertently turned Jorginho's shot into his own net to put the visitors in front.
If that wasn't enough, Gabriel Martinelli bagged a fourth by rounding off a clinical counter-attacking move into an empty net as the Gunners returned to the top of the table.
Arsenal's title charge further boosted with Manchester City draw
Arsenal gave themselves a lifeline with a clinical victory on Saturday and in a further boost to their title aspirations, reigning champions Manchester City were held to a 1-1 draw by Nottingham Forest later that day.
City's draw helped the Gunners go two points clear of them with a game in hand. Arsenal will be looking to build on this momentum in the coming weeks as the title race enters its home stretch.