Arteta pleased as rotated Arsenal move top with Luton win
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Arteta pleased as rotated Arsenal move top with Luton win

Mikel Arteta was pleased with the performance from his rotated Arsenal team as the Gunners moved top of the Premier League table with a 2-0 win over Luton.

Arsenal extended their recent run of form to nine wins from 10 league games with a comfortable win over the relegation-threatened Hatters in north London.

Arteta chose to rotate his options for the clash, with Bukayo Saka ruled out and Declan Rice, Gabriel Jesus and Gabriel Martinelli among those named as substitutes.

 

Martin Odegaard opened the scoring for the Gunners before a Daiki Hashioka own goal doubled the lead before half-time. There were eye-catching performances from a number of fringe players, as the returning Emile Smith Rowe earned the man-of-the-match award at the Emirates.

Arteta was delighted with the contribution of his incoming players and praised the performances of Smith Rowe, Reiss Nelson and Thomas Partey, each of whom have struggled for favour or fitness this season.

“We made five changes for players that fully deserved to play, because they give me the right reasons every day to do so. They have to be used and I think they had a really good impact on the team,” Arteta said at his post-match press conference.

“Emile had an impact for sure, and Reiss as well. Alex had some really good moments, Thomas had his first start since August, that is unbelievable. Leo comes into the team and he makes an impact. It’s really important because now they’re physically better, mentally better, they are confident and they are ready to go.

“There are always questions if it’s only half of the team and in the end, we’ll be judged on what we do and whether it’s right or wrong because of the result. We should not do that, we should do it because they fully deserve it regardless of if we win, draw or lose. Today they gave us a reason that we have to trust them.

 

“They started really strong, generated a lot of momentum in the first half and some big chances, and scored two great goals. In the second half, we lacked a little bit more composure and simplicity in our play to be more dominant and avoid those transitions, but overall, we made the changes, we won the game, clean sheet and we go again.”

Read – Remembering the three-way Premier League title races

See more – Ranking the five best attacking midfielders in the world right now

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