Mikel Arteta hailed four of his Arsenal players after the Gunners’ 2-0 win at Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday.
In-form teenager Bukayo Saka struck late in the first-half before Alexandre Lacazette came off the bench to seal the three points in the 86th minute.
The victory at Molineux boosted Arsenal’s hopes of a finish in the European places and closed the gap on the top six to just three points.
It also advanced the Gunners’ winning run to four games, and Arteta was keen to highlight the performance of Lacazette – who scored his first goal away from home in the league since February 2019.
“He really needed that,” Arteta told Arsenal’s official website. “But when I asked him to come in, in three seconds he was ready to jump on the pitch!
“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.”
Key to the upturn in form has been Arteta’s switch to a back three, in which central defenders David Luiz and Shkodran Mustafi have produced assured displays.
Arteta praised Mustafi for his performance against Wolves and also highlighted the work of midfield pairing Dani Ceballos and Granit Xhaka.
The Spaniard added: “We try to help every player to improve, first of all to feel that we trust them,” he said. “They can make mistakes, of course, but if they are willing and they are happy to try again, I think they will get the rewarded.
“Musti’s [Mustafi’s] attitude, his training, attention levels, the questions he’s asking and how much he wants to help everybody has been really good since I joined. I think it’s a consequence of his performances.
“[Granit] was pivotal today and I think him and Dani dictated the game really, really well for the first 45 minutes. And then when the game plan changed a little bit and we suffered, they read the situation really well and gave the team exactly what they needed.
“They had to manage the game but in times they did it with great maturity and I know [Xhaka’s] character: he’s a great personality and he’s so focused that he deserves to be helped.”
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