Arteta: Arsenal ‘no room for error in Champions League race’
- Credit: PA
Boss Mikel Arteta admits Arsenal have no room for error if they want to make a late Champions League charge.
Bukayo Saka’s first Premier League goal and Alexandre Lacazette’s late finish sealed a vital 2-0 victory at Wolves in the race for Europe.
The Gunners moved into seventh, three points behind Wolves, after a third straight top-flight win without conceding.
They are six points behind the top four – before Chelsea’s late game against Watford on Saturday – and Arteta knows what is at stake.
“Every game you have no margin for error, we know that we try to win every game,” he said, ahead of Tuesday’s visit of third-placed Leicester.
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“Let’s enjoy it a little bit before we start thinking about Leicester and try to go again.
“The race is try to win against Leicester and let’s see what happens. We try to improve as a team.
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“It’s probably one of the best wins because of the difficult schedule we’ve had and how well they have been doing all season.
“Winning is not an easy thing to do and it’s another step forward in our process and I’m really happy.
“I said after Brighton (a 2-1 defeat) I was very happy with the effort, I never denied the effort and the intention they were putting in.
“We cannot give anything to the opponent, it’s about competing for 100 minutes. Hopefully we are doing much better and that’ll give us a better chance to win more games.”
Saka, 18, struck two minutes before the break to mark his new long-term deal at the Emirates with his maiden top-flight goal.
He volleyed in from Kieran Tierney’s deflected cross as Wolves conceded their first goal in 448 minutes.
Eddie Nketiah had earlier hit the post for the Gunners while Adama Traore spurned Wolves’ best chance when he chipped over midway through the second half.
The hosts were made to rue the miss when substitute Lacazette made it 2-0 with four minutes left as he converted Joe Willock’s low cross.
Wolves suffered their first league defeat since the restart and now trail the top four by three points with five games left.
Boss Nuno Espirito Santo said: “You cannot control what is said outside, we have to focus on ourselves. We never look at the table. What drives us is our performance.
“Today we didn’t perform so well and that’s what guides our approach. The rest is something we cannot control.
“We have to analyse, see the things we weren’t able to do and why that was. We were better in the second half so it’s a good starting point.
“It was not one of the best performances, the first half was not so good. Both teams were very balanced.
“The second half we started better with urgency and we had some chances but as the game goes by we knew they were dangerous on the counter attack.”