'I love it': Arsenal boss Arteta approves of White-Zinchenko argument after win over Nottingham Forest (WATCH)
"I love it- I like the passion of the players. It’s not enough for them just to win the game. They wanted the clean sheet, and they were trying to resolve what happened," Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta said in a post-match interview.
Mikel Arteta expressed his enthusiasm for the intense exchange between Ben White and Oleksandr Zinchenko following Arsenal's narrow 2-1 victory over Nottingham Forest at the City Ground on Tuesday night. Despite controlling much of the game and restricting Forest's chances, Arsenal struggled to convert numerous opportunities within the Forest box, highlighting their ongoing issues with goal-scoring. However, Gabriel Jesus and Bukayo Saka eventually alleviated Arsenal's worries with two well-executed goals, securing their lead in the match.
In the 89th minute, Nottingham Forest narrowed the deficit when Taiwo Awoniyi, making his return, seized on a defensive error and skillfully placed the ball past David Raya. Ben White expressed his frustration towards Zinchenko, believing the latter had lost focus at a critical juncture.
Danilo's ambitious long ball toward Arsenal's box went uncontested by Zinchenko, giving Gonzalo Montiel the opportunity to freely head the ball into the box. Awoniyi then capitalized on his strength, shrugging off William Saliba before striking the ball into the corner of the net.
Despite the late scare, Arsenal demonstrated resilience and secured a crucial victory, narrowing the gap to Premier League leaders Liverpool to just two points. Arteta praised the response of his defenders and emphasized the high standards they uphold on the field.
"I love it- I like the passion of the players. It’s not enough for them just to win the game. They wanted the clean sheet, and they were trying to resolve what happened," said the Arsenal boss in a post-match interview.
“We wanted to put right what happened last year and generate some momentum in the league – we’ve got that. The players were talking about last year’s game when they walked into the dressing room," Arteta added.
"We are very happy with the performance and the result. We made chances in various ways and showed a lot of maturity to deal with the game. Sometimes after the game, it’s too emotional and too heated, but I love that the players are pushing each other and demanding excellence and today we conceded a goal that is not at the level we want," the Arsenal manager concluded.