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Mikel Arteta praises Arsenal duo after West Brom win

Arsenal bounced back from their Europa League exit with a convincing win over West Bromwich Albion on Sunday. Speaking to the official website after the match, Mikel Arteta reflected on a much improved performance.

After the semi-final exit to Villarreal, the Gunners needed a confidence boosting performance to keep the morale high and Arteta’s men did just that. There were very fluent in attack and goals from Emile Smith-Rowe, Nicolas Pepe and Willian sealed a comfortable win.

One of the star performers on Sunday was youngster Bukayo Saka. Playing as a left back, the Englishman provided a lot of the attacking impetus and when Arteta was asked about this display, he responded:

“He’s a kid that has the intelligence to understand different positions. We asked him to play that position because of how West Brom set up. It’s been a while since he played there but he had the right approach to it.”

A noteworthy moment of the game came late on when former Chelsea man Willian, got his first goal for the Gunners. When asked about the Brazilian, the boss added:

“Somehow this season we haven’t managed to get the best out of him. He had spells and highlights of things he can do and today was a great example of that.”

Though the Baggies are in the relegation zone, they provided a tough fight and threatened to score on many occasions. But the North Londoners stood firm and held on to an important three points with many players stepping up and showing their quality. There were more positives to be taken from the game and one of them was Gabriel Martinelli providing a good account of himself playing up front.

Arsenal will next be away to local rivals Chelsea on Wednesday and a win would give them the league double over the West Londoners. With qualification to European football hanging by a thread, every point will be crucial. There are just three games left in the season and the Emirates club will have to win all of those games to even have the slightest of chances of playing in Europe next season.

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