Gabriel says Arsenal's derby win shows they are in the right direction

Gabriel Magalhaes believes Arsenal’s ‘special’ derby victory against Tottenham shows they are heading in the right direction under Mikel Arteta… but defender admits the side were slow to find ‘perfect chemistry’

  • Arsenal’s good form continued with a superb derby victory against Tottenham 
  • Gabriel Magalhaes believes the result proves the side are now on the right track 
  • The pressure has now lifted off Mikel Arteta, and Gabriel has praised the coach
  • Centre back Gabriel also admitted Arsenal were slow to find the right formula

Gabriel Magalhaes admits Arsenal have been slow to find the right formula but he believes the triumph against Tottenham is proof they are heading in the right direction under Mikel Arteta.

‘We dominated,’ Gabriel tells Sportsmail as he reflects on the north London derby. ‘Perfect in every action, and it makes us confident for the rest of the season.

‘It was one of my most special days as an Arsenal player. We have to keep focused like this, maintaining the dedication to our tactics.’

Gabriel Magalhaes believes Arsenal’s win over Tottenham shows they are in the right direction

The 3-1 victory lifted Arteta’s team above Spurs into the top half of the table and, with his wife Gabrielle Figueiredo and a childhood friend in the stands at the Emirates Stadium, it was a day he will never forget.

The victory eased the pressure caused by three successive Premier League defeats at the start of the campaign, although the 23-year-old Brazilian insists the players always had faith in boss Arteta and his staff.

‘We couldn’t find the perfect chemistry at the beginning of this season,’ says Gabriel. ‘But we were sure that we were putting a lot of good work into it. We have delivered consistent games in the last three matches, won all of them and we are positive we will keep it going. We just have to keep it rolling.

It was a derby victory to remember for centre back Gabriel, whose family were at the Emirates

‘Our group are very strong and the coaching staff are doing a great job. We have a core of young players and new players have gone into the mix as well.’

Gabriel’s return to the heart of defence has helped give Arsenal a solid base. He has been quick to forge a good understanding with summer signing Ben White, who returns to Brighton on Saturday for the first time since leaving in a £50million deal as the Gunners try to extend their winning run.

Aaron Ramsdale has made an impressive start in goal since his £25m move from Sheffield United, as has Takehiro Tomiyasu at right back.

Together with Kieran Tierney, fit again at left back, they have forged a promising defensive unit and one Arsenal hope will develop in the best traditions of the club.

The pressure has now eased off Mikel Arteta after a good run, and Gabriel has hailed his work

Gabriel has heard all about David Seaman, Tony Adams and Co since he moved from Lille to Arsenal last year.

‘I hope I can win as much as them,’ he says. ‘They inspire us to get better and that is the legacy we hope to leave here at Arsenal.

‘This is one of the top clubs in Europe and playing here is a dream come true. I am happy and honoured to wear the shirt and every day here helps me get closer to my dreams.

‘Our squad is very strong, young players with a lot of potential, and we truly believe we will achieve a lot.

Gabriel (right) has formed a promising defensive unit with Ben White and Kieran Tierney (left)

‘The main goal is to evolve as a team so the individual talents of the great players come out in every game. That’s what winning against Tottenham was about. It showed what we can do and what we can achieve throughout this season and on to the next ones.’

If this happens, Gabriel can be more confident about fulfilling his ambition to be called up by Brazil boss Tite. 

The Arsenal centre half was selected in the squad for this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, but he felt a twinge in his right knee in the first training session and was forced to withdraw as his country went on to win the gold medal.

There is a belief in the squad that they will ‘achieve a lot’, fuelled by the triumph against Spurs

Scans showed he had tendinitis, which interfered with his preparations for the new season.

‘To be called up by Brazil is one of my main goals,’ said Gabriel.

‘It has been a dream since I was a kid – that makes me give my best in training and in games.’

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