Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said he still only wants the best for former employers Manchester City, even though a European ban for the English champions could give the Gunners a route into next season’s Champions League.
A 4-0 win over Newcastle on Sunday lifted Arsenal up to 10th in the Premier League, but just six points adrift of Tottenham in fifth.
City’s two-season ban handed down by UEFA on Friday means the fifth place will be enough to secure a Champions League place unless the champions, Manchester City, succeed in overturning that sanction at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Arteta, who left City to take his first senior managerial role at the Emirates in December, could now be the beneficiary of his former club’s punishment.
“It’s very difficult. I want the best for Manchester City, the best for Pep (Guardiola) and the players. The only thing I want for them is positive and good things,” said the Spaniard.
“I just want to do for Arsenal the best I can.”
The victory was just the second in eight league games since Arteta took charge and there was plenty of encouragement for the 37-year-old in Arsenal’s second-half performance after an all too familiar subdued first 45 minutes.
“We talked before the game that we wanted to turn draws into wins,” added Arteta after a run of six draws in eight games.
“The first half it was a little bit slow, but the way they play with a low block, you can get frustrated. We improved much more in the second half.”