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Arteta unfazed by criticism of Arsenal celebrations

Mikel Arteta vowed to keep showing his emotions after the Arsenal manager and his players came under fire for over-celebrating their vital Premier League victory against Liverpool.

Arteta’s men reignited their title challenge with last weekend’s 3-1 win over the leaders at a raucous Emirates Stadium.

The Spaniard embarked on a jubilant jig down the touchline after Leandro Trossard’s stoppage-time goal killed off Liverpool.

Led by captain Martin Odegaard, who grabbed a camera from a photographer to take pictures on the pitch after the final whistle, Arsenal’s players made the most of their success in a lengthy post-match celebration.

The joyous scenes led to suggestions that the Gunners were making too much of single victory but Arteta relished the passion on display and said he had seen similar celebrations from rival teams in the past.

“I love it. I’ve seen managers at the Emirates on their knees, on the pitch,” he said on Friday, ahead of Sunday’s match at West Ham.

“I’ve seen very big managers walking onto the pitch, I’ve seen managers going across the touchline. I’ve seen that all in the Premier League.

“Personally, I love it because it brings such passion and emotion to the game. When it’s done in a natural and unique way, I think it’s great. It’s my opinion and a lot of people may have something very different to mine.”

Asked about Odegaard’s unusual role in the post-match party with his amateur photography, Arteta said: “That’s something that happened because there’s a relationship, they do it every day here at the training ground. But people are entitled to have their opinion. 

“That’s our job, to accept all of that and still behave in what you think is the right way to behave and make sure we don’t lose that.

“I think there has been a lot of positiveness, and maybe a little criticism, if you focus there, you only see that.

“When I’m walking in the street it’s pride and a lot of compliments for what we did, so I don’t have that impression at all.”

The Gunners are just two points behind Liverpool ahead of their London derby at West Ham, which marks Arsenal midfielder Declan Rice’s first return to the club he left last year.

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