The full time celebrations said it all.
A third consecutive win against one of the Premier League’s most difficult sides to play at. Chelsea, Manchester United and now West Ham have come up second best when facing Arsenal in recent weeks, with manager Mikel Arteta masterminding a speedy rejuvenation for who had lost three in a row only last month.
This was by no means a vintage Arsenal performance and Arteta himself admitted after the game that the scrappy nature of the win is a sign that his team will look to secure the victory no matter what.
“You have to find a way to win and today we won ugly,” said Arteta.
“We have to recognise that is the way we had done it.
“We showed incredible spirit because when we could play the way we wanted to play we had to find a way to play the way they prefer. We adapted. You have to find a way to win all the time to win – forcing mistakes, being brilliant, digging in, clean sheets.”
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Goals have been hard to find from Arsenal’s forwards this season and it was further emphasised by the goalscorers from Sunday’s match, with defenders Rob Holding and Gabriel scoring the crucial goals to seal the three points for the Gunners.
“I am really happy, especially for Rob Holding as he hasn’t played the amount of minutes he deserves. He was man of the match today. He is always there when we need him.”
Both Holding and midfielder Mohamed Elneny are two of the longest serving players at Arsenal, having both been heavily linked with moves away from the club in the past two transfer windows.
Holding has become somewhat of a lucky charm in recent games as Arteta opts to bring him on as a safety net to close out matches, but the reality is that he offers a lot more than that.
Former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger’s famous quip about Holding not costing “50 million pounds so he cannot be good” rings even more true on nights like today.
The Gunners have everyone fighting for eachtother right now but there must be a significant improvement in the final four games of the season in order to secure Champions League qualification.
Europa League qualification may have been secured, but Arteta’s side have loftier ambitions as they enter into the final sprint of what has been a long marathon of a league season.
Source by Football London