Mikel Arteta hailed David Luiz as ‘phenomenal’ after the defender put his Manchester City nightmare behind him in Arsenal’s FA Cup semi-final win.
Luiz led the back five by example in the Gunners’ 2-0 win over City at Wembley on Saturday – winning four aerial duals and making 11 clearances to shut out Pep Guardiola’s men.
It could not have been a more different display from the 33-year-old’s horror show at the Etihad last month in Arsenal’s first match back since the restart, when he was at fault for two goals and got himself sent off in a 3-0 win for City.
“This is part of football, you can go down but I didn’t have any doubts about David’s reaction,” Arteta told Arsenal’s official website.
“He held his hands up after that [City] game and he didn’t have to do that because we all make mistakes.
“The way he has been training and helping others has been phenomenal and I am delighted that people can now see this side of him as well and praise him because he deserves it.”
Luiz has won league titles and cups in three different countries, with his trophy haul including a Premier League crown plus Champions League and Europa League triumphs with Chelsea.
Arteta said: “He has won everything in different countries so he brings that [experience] with him.
“Not only that but I want him to perform on the pitch and he is doing that again in a really good way and I’m really happy for him today.
“David doesn’t need a lot of management. What he needs is that we trust him and we don’t doubt what he can do.
“The best way to do that is to make him play. He can say that throughout his career he has had some difficult moments and some incredible moments, but big athletes go through those moments and I’m happy that he’s at the level he’s playing now.”
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