January 18, 2022

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Mikel Arteta impressed by Arsenal character

2 min read

Mikel Arteta has heaped praise on his Arsenal side after they beat West Ham 2-0 to break into the top four of the Premier League.

The Gunners downed their London rivals at the Emirates Stadium thanks to goals from youngsters Gabriel Martinelli and Emile Smith Rowe.

Hammers defender Vladimir Coufal was sent off after receiving a second yellow card for bringing Alexandre Lacazette down in the penalty area.

The Frenchman stepped up to take the penalty, but had his shot saved by former Arsenal goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski.

Arteta’s men remained focused after the missed spot-kick to collect all three points and enter the Champions League places for the first time in 14 months.

“Really pleased with the performance, the quality, the energy, the passion and the crowd,” the Arsenal manager told BT Sport.

“We had some really good moments. It was a really difficult team to play against. They have a lot of solutions and are a threat in many, many ways. I think we controlled them pretty well so credit to the boys.

“It was a great first goal. That’s what Gabriel [Martinelli] can do. He is always a threat and this pace is really good for him to exploit.

“The second one was good on the counter-attack. It’s a shame we miss a penalty in that moment as it would have given us more time to relax because you can’t against this team. They can score a goal in any action.

“It was a big game for us to obviously have the capacity to go above them and move fourth. It was a statement.

“We had been pretty strong at home so we needed to put a good performance in against a good team and I think we did that.”

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