Rival fans have now likened Mikel Arteta to Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola after the Arsenal manager’s awkward response to a question on their win at Crystal Palace.

The Gunners maintained their perfect start to their 2023/24 Premier League term with a 1-0 win at Selhurst Park on Monday. Captain Martin Odegaard gave Arsenal three points at their London rival. The 24-year-old opened his account for the term with a 53rd-minute penalty.

But referee David Coote sending Takehiro Tomiyasu off for two yellow cards ensured Arsenal had to dig in to win. Crystal Palace ramped up the pressure with the Emirates Stadium outfit reduced to 10 men. But Roy Hodgson’s players could not find a way to beat Aaron Ramsdale.

Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard scores penalty at Crystal Palace
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Why Pele Is Overrated.

Arsenal defended doggedly to beat Crystal Palace after Takehiro Tomiyasu’s red card

Sam Johnstone brought Eddie Nketiah down in the box to see Coote award Arsenal a spot-kick. The Gunners product pipped the Eagles’ goalkeeper to the ball after smart thinking by Gabriel Martinelli to take a quick free-kick. Odegaard would convert to give Arsenal control.

All three points seemed bound for north London for all of 14 minutes before Coote reached for his red card. Tomiyasu’s dismissal for time wasting and then fouling Jordan Ayew left the Gunners having to doggedly defend Ramsdale’s net. Arsenal just about managed to hold on.

Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale makes a save against Crystal Palace striker Odsonne Edouard
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Crystal Palace and Arsenal both ended the night having taken 14 shots, per WhoScored. Yet the London rivals managed just two and three on target respectively. While the Eagles took seven of their 14 efforts following Tomiyasu’s red. But just one forced Ramsdale into a save.

Arsenal blocked four of Crystal Palace’s seven shots while playing with 10 men. The Gunners further only enjoyed 26% of the possession during the final 23 minutes and only attempted 82 passes to the Eagles’ 217. Arsenal did not try a single shot after Tomiyasu’s dismissal, too.

Mikel Arteta draws Pep Guardiola comparisons with a blunt response to questions

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta reply at Crystal Palace to spark Pep Guardiola comparisons
Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images

Dogged defending and Odegaard’s penalty ensured Arsenal beat Crystal Palace 1-0, despite Tomiyasu’s red card. But Arteta issued a blunt reply when asked post-match for his thoughts on the game. The result kept Arsenal as one of the three teams on two wins in two fixtures.

In reply to being asked if Arsenal needed to show their grit and character to win at Crystal Palace, Arteta said, via The Sun: “Great win. I’m so happy.” The Spaniard then replied when also asked for his most pleasing aspect of the win: “That under any circumstances, you win.”

Arteta’s comments drew comparisons to Manchester City boss Guardiola from rival fans who have likened the Arsenal boss to his former mentor. The Gunners’ former captain joined the Citizens’ coaching staff as Guardiola’s assistant after retiring as a player back in July 2016.

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