Mikel Arteta admits that Alex Lacazette was in need of a goal and hopes his teammates can keep giving him more opportunities like the one he took in this afternoon 2-0 win over Wolves.
On the pitch for only three minutes, the Frenchman delivered a decisive blow late on at Molineux, latching onto a cross from fellow substitute Joe Willock before finding the net off the post with a well-placed drive.
Today’s goal takes Lacazette to double figures for the season and while he’s struggled to hit the heights of last season, the boss was quick to praise the 29-year-old’s attitude.
“Well, he really needed that, but when I asked him to come in, in three seconds he was ready to jump on the pitch,” Arteta told his post-game press conference.
“Things like this happen and he had a great movement of the ball, a great touch and a great finish.
“We need to give him more opportunities to be able to do more of that, but I’m so happy for him because he completely deserves that for the way that he trains and plays every day.”
After a fourth consecutive win, Arteta believes his squad are building much-needed momentum as they look to secure European football next season. Up to seventh in the table, the gap on Wolves has been closed to three points ahead of massive matches with Leicester, Sp*rs and Liverpool.
We’re going to have to win all our games if we’re to have any chances of making the Champions League and even then things won’t be in our hands. For the moment, the boss just wants to keep his players focusing on the short-term.
“I am in the race to try and win against Leiecteser and then let’s see what happens,” said Arteta.
“Two weeks ago it looked impossible and we know the fixtures that we have in the next few weeks… We try to improve as a team every time to give us a better chance, the better we play the better we compete.
“At this level of intensity if we play like this against any team we will make it hard from them and then we will see.”
He added: “That is probably one of the best [wins] because of the difficult schedule that we had compared to them in terms of the recovery. And for how well they have been doing for the whole season and because of COVID-19.
“To come here and win the way we have done today is not an easy thing to do, it’s another step forward in our process so I am really happy today.”