Mikel Arteta expressed his relief after Arsenal snatched a late win at Luton to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League.
Arsenal moved five points clear of Liverpool at the top of the table, but required a stoppage-time winner from Declan Rice to settle a seven-goal thriller at Kenilworth Road.
The Gunners had twice led at Luton, but equalisers from Gabriel Osho and Elijah Adebayo cancelled out Arsenal goals from Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Jesus.
Ross Barkley fired Luton ahead as The Hatters threatened a huge upset, but Kai Havertz continued his recent goalscoring form with Arsenal’s third to level the game.
In the seventh minute of stoppage time, Rice headed home from Martin Odegaard’s delivery to break Luton’s resilience and earn Arsenal a precious three points.
“So happy. We knew it would be a big battle here, we made it hard for ourselves the way we conceded the goals,” Arteta said to Amazon Prime.
“The spirit of the team, how we fought, showed our quality in the right moments and never gave up. We went for it and got our rewards today.
“Credit to them [Luton]. Their delivery was excellent, the finishing was excellent and sometimes you have to credit the opponent. Big compliments to them, it was a tough night.”
The performance of David Raya will again come under scrutiny, with the Arsenal goalkeeper at fault for two Luton goals. The Spaniard has failed to convince since replacing Aaron Ramsdale as number one, with Arteta refusing to comment when questioned on Raya’s errors.
“I’m so happy with the team. I have spoken with all the team and they are jumping. I’m a really happy manager today.”