Mikel Arteta praises Arsenal for ‘winning ugly’ after narrowly seeing off West Ham in London derby to move back into the top four – and the Gunners boss is now targeting rivals Chelsea in THIRD place
Mikel Arteta hailed his Arsenal players for ‘winning ugly’ at West Ham, saying they’re handling the pressure and want to steal third in the Premier League from Chelsea.
Defender Gabriel’s headed winner at the London Stadium moved Arsenal up to fourth in the Premier League, two points above rivals Tottenham who beat Leicester earlier in the day.
‘Massive win,’ said Arteta, borrowing the favourite word of West Ham fans. ‘The team showed huge character. Not to give up. To continue trying to do the right things. The way they fought, the way they understood how to manage the game in certain moments. It was phenomenal.
Mikel Arteta has challenged his side to now target a third place finish in the Premier League
Arsenal moved back into the top four following a 2-1 victory over West Ham United on Sunday
‘In England you say you “win ugly”? From my point of view, we won ugly. But I’m extremely happy to see a team that has this capacity to find a way to win and show the character they showed.’
Asked if this is now a race for third rather than just fourth, Arteta said: ‘Mathematically, everything is open.
‘We’re going to have to go to Leeds and win again because everybody is going to put on pressure. We have to handle that. We have a great opportunity.’
Keeper Aaron Ramsdale is also hopeful that the Gunners can now take the battle to Chelsea
Goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale insisted afterwards he did not know that Tottenham had beaten Leicester, but he likewise said Arsenal can finish third above Chelsea.
It was two set-pieces that undid West Ham and this defeat left them seventh. If David Moyes’s men are to make it into the Champions League, they will need to win the Europa League, the semi-final of which they trail 2-1 to Eintracht Frankfurt ahead of Thursday’s second leg.
‘I thought we did a good job on them,’ Moyes said. ‘We kept Arsenal quiet. What we didn’t do a good job on was set pieces, which we’re normally very good at.’