7 game-changing moments in Mikel Arteta’s playing career at Arsenal
- Arsenal 1-0 Swansea (Premier League GW4 – 10/09/2011)
Just months after Arsenal’s disappointing 2011 League Cup final defeat to Birmingham City, the summer transfer window saw the departure of captain Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona. Everton’s Mikel Arteta was identified by Arsene Wenger as the perfect replacement, with the Spaniard signing a four-year deal with the Gunners on 31 August 2011 for a reported fee of £10 million. He made his debut 10 days later in a 1-0 home win against Swansea City in the Premier League, impressing in central midfield alongside Aaron Ramsey and Emmanuel Frimpong.
- Blackburn 4-3 Arsenal (Premier League GW5 – 17/09/2011)
Exactly a week after his debut, Arteta scored his first Premier League goal for Arsenal in a 4-3 loss to Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park. He got the Gunners’ second to give them a 2-1 lead in the 34th minute after latching onto Aaron Ramsey’s intelligent cutback just inside the box and firing the ball high into the middle of the net. However, a brace from Yakubu and own goals from Alex Song and Laurent Koscielny meant it ultimately ended up being a bittersweet day for Arteta.
- Arsenal 1-0 Leeds (FA Cup Third Round – 09/01/2012)
Arteta got his first chance to captain the Gunners in their third-round FA Cup win over Leeds United in January 2012 – a game made famous for the second Arsenal debut of Thierry Henry, who scored the only goal in the 78th minute after coming off the bench just 10 minutes earlier. Arteta had a couple of great chances to get on the scoresheet himself, drilling one shot narrowly past the left post in the first half and forcing goalkeeper Andy Lonergan into a low save for the game’s first shot on target in the second half.
- Arsenal 3-2 Hull AET (FA Cup Final – 17/05/2014)
Arteta played a big part in Arsenal’s run to the 2014 FA Cup final, scoring against former club Everton in the quarter-final and converting his penalty in the semi-final shootout against Wigan Athletic. He captained the side for the final at Wembley, leading them to a 3-2 extra-time victory over Hull City, thus receiving his first major honour in English football while at the same time ending the Gunners’ nine-year wait for a trophy.
- Arsenal 3-0 Man City (FA Community Shield – 10/08/2014)
After becoming Arsenal’s new club captain ahead of the 2014/15 season, Arteta won his first trophy as full-time skipper in the 2014 FA Community Shield, playing the full 90 minutes as the Gunners beat Manchester City 3-0. Despite his recent appointment, he would only go on to make 11 more appearances in the rest of the campaign, scoring once – a penalty in a 3-3 home draw against Anderlecht in the Champions League.
- Arsenal 1-0 Chelsea (FA Community Shield – 02/08/2015)
Arteta signed a one-year contract extension with Arsenal on 8 July 2015 and less than a month later came on as a substitute as the Gunners beat Chelsea 1-0 to win the FA Community Shield for the second consecutive time. It was his first competitive appearance for the club since November 2014 when he suffered a serious calf injury against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League.
- Arsenal 4-0 Aston Villa (Premier League GW38 – 15/05/2016)
Arteta’s final game for Arsenal was on the last day of the 2015/16 season when he replaced Mesut Ozil in the 88th minute of a 4-0 home win over Aston Villa. Within five minutes of coming on, he forced Mark Bunn into scoring an own goal after his shot rebounded off the crossbar and hit the back of the Villa goalkeeper before trickling over the line. Arteta received a standing ovation from the Emirates Stadium crowd at full time. Who knew then that he would return to take charge of the Gunners just three-and-a-half years later?
Written by Charlie Ford, UK Country Manager for Livesport/Flashscore