Premier League • England

Arsenal reaction: Mikel Arteta gives Emirates verdict after Wolves scalp with nod to star ‘you have to love’

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta after a Premier League match

Mikel Arteta felt Arsenal should have won by many more goals after they beat Wolves 2-1 to move four points clear at the top of the Premier League.

The Gunners were ahead after just six minutes when Bukayo Saka fired home into the bottom corner. And they were 2-0 to the good on 13 minutes as a flowing move involving Oleksandr Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus ended with Martin Odegaard firing home. The hosts dominated the opening 45 minutes and it was a surprise that they did not add to their goal tally before the break.

Gabriel Martinelli’s shot hit the post, while Leandro Trossard and Gabriel Jesus also came close to netting a third.

Wolves were better after the break and they halved the deficit on 86 minutes.

Matheus Cunha took advantage of a mistake by Zinchenko to give the visitors some hope.

However, the north Londoners held on for another three points that sees them four clear of Manchester City.

Arteta was delighted with the result but felt his charges should have been more efficient in front of goal.

“I can only praise the players. They were excellent. We played against a really good side and generated so much and conceded almost nothing,” he told BBC Sport.

“The scoreline should have been very different. We were very unlucky because we hit the post three times I think.

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“At the end we made an error close to the goal – in the Premier League you get punished big time for that.

“Then at the end, it’s game on. Overall I’m really happy with how he performed again.”

Arteta unconcerned by Zinchenko error

Arsenal were eight points clear at the summit at one point last season.

However, City overhauled them to win their third straight Premier League crown.

Many pundits feel it will be a similar story this time around despite Arsenal’s current strong showing.

City face Tottenham on Sunday and can close to within a point once again.

Arteta knows it will be tough to dethrone Pep Guardiola’s men. He needs his charges focused throughout the campaign.

But the Spanish tactician was not too hard on Zinchenko despite his error that led to the Wolves goal.

“You have to love him, how he is. Every player has strengths and weaknesses. Alex has many more strengths. This happened and it can happen to any player,” he added.

“We have to learn from it because there are certain areas where it’s a big no to play, especially after certain things in the previous phase. That’s it. We will get better.”

Next up for Arsenal is a trip to face Luton Town on Tuesday while Aston Villa welcome the Gunners to the West Midlands on Saturday.

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