Mikel Arteta stated the benefits of snatching dramatic late victories are “extremely necessary” for Arsenal when asked about their morale-boosting Wolves win.
Arsenal gave their top four hopes a massive boost when it appeared for the longest time they would take a crippling hit. Wolves took the lead early after Gabriel Magalhaes was punished for playing a blind back-pass.
Yet Arsenal’s heads never dropped despite failing time and time again to penetrate Wolves’ determined defence.
Alexandre Lacazette in particular looked dangerous all night and on multiple occasions whipped the home crowd up into a frenzy when demanding more support.
Substitute Nicolas Pepe grabbed a silky equaliser with 10 minutes to play before man of the moment Lacazette snatched victory in injury time.
The Frenchman’s strike was in fact tracking to go wide, but Jose Sa’s attempted save inadvertently redirected the ball inside the far post.
The victory bumped Arsenal up to fifth in the table, just one point behind Man Utd who have played two games more.
Speaking to Amazon Prime after the match, Arteta said: “When you win the match after going 1-0 down and you know what it means against Wolves it is really difficult but we did it. A really important win for this.
“We don’t know today how important this will be but we know the importance of winning our matches and certainly at home we know we have to be extremely good. At the end of May we want to be fighting for those places.”
“This team needs belief” – Arteta
When asked if he’d prefer this type of dramatic victory or a more dominant win the likes of which Liverpool and Man City regularly achieve, Arteta said: “Probably the way we won it [against Wolves].
“Because it created a belief and togetherness and an atmosphere and cohesion with our fans as well and that is extremely necessary. This teams needs belief, we are a really young squad.
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“After three defeats in the first three games we had to avoid relegation. That was the first thing we had to do.
“Then we took it game by game and don’t lose sight of the objective with the team. You just have to be consistent with your vision and the way you prepare and believe the result will come.”
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Arsenal striker Lacazette also spoke to the press, telling Amazon Prime: “I feel really happy. It is amazing to win this kind of game in the last minute.
“We really wanted this win because we know it is important to be at the top of the table.
“I knew it was the end of the game and Nicolas Pepe gave me a good ball. It went in and we are happy with the three points. A bit sad it is not gone down for me, I want to score but most important is to win.
“We had a difficult January but we are coming back better in February.”