Arteta hails Arsenal’s ‘incredible spirit’ after winning ‘ugly’ at West Ham to go fourth

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has praised his side for ‘winning ugly’ against West Ham in the Premier League.

The Gunners tightened their grip on fourth place thanks to goals from defensive duo Rob Holding and Gabriel.

All hail Ivan Toney – the journeyman hit-man who found a home at Brentford

Holding headed in his first top-flight goal to put Arteta’s men ahead in the first half. Their lead didn’t last long, however, with Jarrod Bowen equalising five minutes later.

Arsenal’s victory came shortly after their rivals Tottenham picked up a 3-1 win against Leicester City, meaning the Gunners started Sunday’s match in fifth.

It was not a vintage performance by any stretch of the imagination, but Arsenal got the job done, which is all Arteta cares about.

He told BBC Sport: “You have to find a way to win and today we won ugly. We have to recognise that is the way we had done it.

3 – Arsenal have won three consecutive Premier League games with each coming against opponents starting the day within the top seven positions (Chelsea, Man Utd and West Ham) for the first time since March 2012 under Arsène Wenger (Spurs, Liverpool and Newcastle). Competitive.

— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 1, 2022

“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.

“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.”

On if the battle for the top four will go all the way until the last day of the season, Arteta said: “Let’s see. Another seven days to prepare for the match. The pressure is there and we both won so let’s go.”

Speaking to Sky Sports, the Spanish manager added: “Today we won ugly. Big teams have to find a way to win ugly when they don’t play their best.

“We were really poor. We lacked composure and the dominance to play the game we wanted to play.

“But we found a way through set-pieces and defending extremely well, apart from the goal. Full credit to the boys, they showed the spirit we have.”

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