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Big teams have to win ugly when they don’t play well, reveals Mikel Arteta

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has insisted that big teams have to win ugly even when they do not play well and expressed his delight at his side’s victory over West Ham despite not playing to the best of their abilities. Arsenal secured a 2-1 victory over the Hammers on Sunday in the Premier League.

Arsenal endured a difficult away trip to top-four rivals, West Ham, in their bid to realize their dream of earning a top-four spot at the end of the season a reality. Both teams struggled in the opening parts of the game but it was Arsenal who struck first as Rob Holding rose highest to nod a corner home in the 39th minute for his first goal since 2019.

Aaron Ramsdale had to stay alert to deny Declan Rice immediately afterward although he was powerless to stop Jarrod Bowen from finding the target on the stroke of halftime as his volley took a deflection off Gabriel before finding its way into the net.

The Hammers looked dangerous in the second half but it was Arsenal who scored the decisive goal in the 54th minute as Gabriel thumped his header home to secure the win at the London Stadium. 

The victory propels Arsenal forward in their bid to secure entry into the Champions League next season. Gunners boss Arteta expressed his delight at claiming a hard-earned three points despite not being at their brilliant best.

“We won ugly and big teams have to find a way to win ugly when they don’t play at their best. With the ball we were really poor. We lacked composure, and dominance to play the game we wanted to play, but we found a way through set pieces, through defending extremely well. To win here is a credit to the boys. They showed the spirit we have. I’m still digesting a lot of things we didn’t do right, but as a team to grow in confidence and to continue with the moment we have, we’ve won against three big teams in a row,” Arteta told Sky Sports.

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