Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta opens up on Emile Smith Rowe injury and hails Leicester win

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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has spoken out after his side’s 3-1 win over Leicester on Sunday. The Gunners felt behind at the King Power Stadium. However, they mounted an impressive comeback to pick up all three points.

Arsenal went into the match against Leicester on a high.

After coming from behind to beat Benfica in their Europa League clash on Thursday night, Mikel Arteta’s side were aiming to reignite their chances of finishing in the Premier League top four with another victory.

Things got off to the worst possible start when Arsenal fell behind, with Youri Tielemans scoring for the Foxes. The Belgium international was allowed to run before unleashing a powerful drive past Bernd Leno.

David Luiz then levelled for Arsenal, with the Brazil international stooping to head home a pinpoint delivery from Willian.

Alexandre Lacazette fired the north London giants in front from the penalty spot after Wilfred Ndidi handled in the box.

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And Arsenal made sure of the victory in the second half through Nicolas Pepe.

It was a good afternoon for the Gunners, who have now closed the top four gap on their rivals.

And Arteta was delighted after the game, telling BT Sport: “I’m really proud of the team.

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“The connection we showed, passion and how we reacted to a disappointing start again because it puts this team in the worst scenario.

“Then we looked composed, confident. The energy and the positiveness around the team was really good. We created some good moments and scored some good goals.”

On whether he’s now found his best system, he continued: “Depends on the players we have available, the moment the team is living and the game plan we want to produce against the opponents. 

“It’s not that we have to rotate. I want to rotate and have the chance to the players. They deserve. The way they train everyday, behind all the players. 

“Only way to do it is to play them. You can use many ways to motivate but at the end of the day it is to be on the field. And I’m so pleased even making a lot of changes we were able to produce this performance.”

Emile Smith Rowe was forced out of the game through injury.

And Arteta added: “It was a muscular injury, he wasn’t feeling very comfortable to carry on playing so we have decided to take him out.

“Hopefully it is not too [serious] much.”

Arteta was happy to see his senior Arsenal players stepping up, too.

Luiz was solid at the back, while Willian produced arguably his finest showing since his arrival from Chelsea on a free transfer.

And he said: “They are the ones that had to drive the ball forward then we can add something with the young talented players that we have.

“It cannot be the opposite way round.

“They have to take leadership and be accountable because they are the ones you have to produce performances to give us some stability.”

Arsenal goalscorer Lacazette also spoke to BT Sport after the game and expressed his delight with the result.

“It’s really good. We want to come back at the top of the league as high as possible,” he said.

“We know we had to do some wins consecutive [sic] to come back and we did it well.

“The reaction after the goal we concede. Everyone kept their focus. Kept the game plan and when everyone is like this it is easier to win games.

“It’s really important. We have March, April and May to finish well.

“I think this win will give a lot of confidence to this team because we came back from losing games. It’s good for the team and the spirit.”

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