Football

Arteta admits Arsenal were ‘lucky’, expands on Aubameyang situation


Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta heaped praise on his side despite admitting they “relied on luck”, and offered further comments on the surprise omission of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from the starting line-up.

Arsenal registered a vital victory to keep their hopes of securing a top four finish alive.


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The Gunners fell behind early after substitute Erik Lamela scored a goal of the season contender.

Arsenal heads did not drop, however, and the Gunners restored parity through Martin Odegaard prior to half-time.

A feisty second half saw drama all across the pitch, but the most telling contribution was that of Alexandre Lacazette.

The Frenchman won and converted a penalty that ultimately proved decisive in the 2-1 victory.

FULL MATCH REPORT: Arsenal fightback sinks Tottenham after Lamela goes from hero to zero

Speaking to Sky Sports after the match, Arteta said: “Full credit for the way we have done it today after two days coming back from Europe. It was incredible. Going 1-0 down the way we were playing was disappointing and worst case scenario against a team like Spurs. But we kept playing and deserve the win.

“Last 10 minutes we did not manage the game and we need to improve on as a team. We relied on luck. With the way we played we should have seen it out comfortably.

“We prepare the game trying to exploit areas. We had some really strong performances today. You could see the energy they were playing with.

 

“It is about how you react. This team have the reaction in them to not give up. We kept playing and generating chances and got rewarded. We play quite well in the previous derbies but they are so efficient. They don’t need much to score. You see with Lamela today. A quality goal.”

Regarding the benching of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for a disciplinary issue – which was later speculated to be lateness – Arteta concluded: “He is an incredible guy and one of the most important players in the team.

“He is our captain and these things happen. We have lots going on in our lives and people finding it hard with the restrictions. I will never tell anything that happens in the dressing room.”

 

Arsenal “lucky” to receive penalty – Lacazette

Arsenal forward Alexandre Lacazette also spoke to the press, telling Sky Sports: “It is amazing. We wanted to win this game for us and the team and the fans. We missed them today. It was important to win the derby though.

“It is stressful. This is our problem. When we are winning we struggle to manage the game at the end. We need to improve. But we won and now we can think of Thursday. It is important to win this type of game.

“We are lucky to get the penalty, I think. But of course I am happy. Back in the days I have taken a lot of penalties against him [Hugo Lloris] but I was confident.

“It is not easy to sit on the bench for big games. I don’t think there was anything against [Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang]. It was the decision of the coach. I will let you ask him about this.”

 





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