Premier League • England

Mikel Arteta lauds two ‘really intelligent’ Arsenal stars after away win; makes contract admission

Mikel Arteta of Arsenal

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta in a celebratory mood

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has praised January signings Leandro Trossard and Jorginho for their involvement in helping the Gunners beat Leicester 1-0, while also speaking about new contracts for some of his players.

Arteta thought Arsenal had taken the lead in the 26th minute when Trossard fired into the top corner after Leicester goalkeeper Danny Ward had failed to deal with a set piece. But VAR checked the goal and ruled it out due to Ben White impeding Ward.

Five minutes later Foxes striker Kelechi Iheanacho had the ball in the back of the Arsenal net after being sent through by Tete. However, Arsenal’s high line meant he was offside and the goal was ruled out.

Bukayo Saka felt Arsenal should have been given a penalty in the 32nd minute when he was brought down by Harry Souttar. However, referee Craig Pawson did not feel there was enough contact and waved away the claims.

The first half ended goalless, but Arsenal took the lead soon after the restart. Trossard played Gabriel Martinelli in and he did well to slide the ball into the far bottom corner.

Leicester chances fell to Tete and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, while Saka had a goal disallowed. Ultimately though, Martinelli’s ninth goal of the campaign proved to be the winner.

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During his post-match press conference (via, Arteta said: “We dominated the game almost from start to finish. In general I think our play and understanding of spaces was excellent.

“We lacked that final pass to score more. We had the decision with the disallowed goal which was frustrating to take, but to restrict Leicester to one shot at home is great.”

Arsenal ‘extremely happy’ after two away wins – Mikel Arteta

On Saka’s penalty claim not being given, Arteta continued: “I haven’t seen that image. It’s over now. We’re extremely happy to win two away games and deserve them.”

Arteta was then asked about January signings Trossard and Jorginho. “They are two players that already have experience in our league and are really intelligent to understand what we demand,” he replied. “They have the personality to play at this level.”

Arteta then spoke about match-winner Martinelli, who did not start Arsenal’s last outing. The Spaniard also addressed Arsenal’s future contract plans.

“Sometimes you have to give someone a breather to come back with even more energy and enthusiasm,” he said. “Delighted on his [new] contract and we want to keep our best players at the club.”

Meanwhile, a Manchester United star has named an Arsenal man as the toughest opponent he has faced while in England.