‘A very big win’ – Arteta reacts as Arsenal secure crucial 1-0 over Aston Villa

Arsenal further cemented their status as favorites to finish fourth after the North London outfit secured a 1-0 away win against Aston Villa today.

The Gunners started brightly in the Midlands, with young attacker Emile Smith-Rowe firing a decent chance over the bar after just three minutes.

Arsenal showed plenty of the type of slick passing and movement that has been a hallmark of their recent good run of form and Mikel Arteta’s side would get their reward on the half-hour mark. The ball broke at the edge of the area and the hugely impressive Bukayo Saka made no mistake, striking a low effort past former teammate Emi Martinez.

Although Aston Villa got a foothold during the second-half, they struggled to create chances against a well drilled Arsenal backline. In fact, it would take until injury time before the home side got a shot on target, a Philippe Coutinho free-kick that was saved by Bernd Leno.

After today’s deserved victory the Gunners sit in fourth place, four points ahead of Man United with a game in hand. Speaking afterwards Arsenal boss Arteta admitted it was a crucial win and hailed the connection his players have with the clubs supporters.

“It’s a very big win for us,” The Spanish coach told BBC Sport. ”I thought we played fantastically well, but we didn’t put the game to bed when we had the chances. Then you suffer, but we showed the resilience to win.

“Villa are a very good team and to come here is always extremely difficult. We managed to do the things we wanted to do in the match and I think we deserved to win the game.

“The connection between the players and the fans is exceptional and that gives you a lot of energy and belief. There’s still 10 games to go and you can see how small the margins are. The key is that we are there [in the top four] and that we believe we can do it.”

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