Mikel Arteta says he is winning his biggest battle at Arsenal - to make his players believe in themselves.

The Gunners lifted the first silverware of the season by beating Premier League champions Liverpool on penalties in Saturday’s Community Shield at Wembley.

And Arteta reckons his players, who finished 43 points behind the Reds last season, are slowly becoming convinced of how good they actually are.

The Arsenal boss said: “I believe we are closing the gap. But it’s one thing to do it in a short period of time, and another to sustain it for ten months.

“My biggest fight at this club is to convince these players we can fight with these clubs in the long term, and that they are better than what they showed last year.”

Mikel Arteta is hoping to change opinions at Arsenal.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the opener and then struck the winning kick in the shoot-out after Takumi Minamino’s equaliser took it to penalties.

Arteta, whose side had less preparation time than Liverpool, said: “I didn’t hear one excuse from my players. I had the feeling they believed we could win.

“They didn’t feel any fear. They wanted to really go for it and they showed from the first minute their courage and their passion.”