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Mikel Arteta admits Arsenal have no margin for error in Champions League chase

Mikel Arteta admits Arsenal have no margin for error in Champions League chase
© Reuters
The Gunners claimed an impressive 2-0 win at Wolves on Saturday.

Boss Mikel Arteta admits Arsenal have no room for error if they want to make a late Champions League charge.

Bukayo Saka’s first Premier League goal and Alexandre Lacazette’s late finish sealed a vital 2-0 victory at Wolves in the race for Europe.

The Gunners moved into seventh, three points behind Wolves, after a third straight top-flight win without conceding.

They are six points behind the top four – before Chelsea’s late game against Watford on Saturday – and Arteta knows what is at stake.

“Every game you have no margin for error, we know that we try to win every game,” he said, ahead of Tuesday’s visit of third placed Leicester.

“Let’s enjoy it a little bit before we start thinking about Leicester and try to go again.

“The race is try to win against Leicester and let’s see what happens. We try to improve as a team.

“It’s probably one of the best wins because of the difficult schedule we’ve had and how well they have been doing all season.

“Winning is not an easy thing to do and it’s another step forward in our process and I’m really happy.

“I said after Brighton (a 2-1 defeat) I was very happy with the effort, I never denied the effort and the intention they were putting in.

“We cannot give anything to the opponent, it’s about competing for 100 minutes. Hopefully we are doing much better and that’ll give us a better chance to win more games.”

Saka, 18, struck two minutes before the break to mark his new long-term deal at the Emirates with his maiden top-flight goal.

He volleyed in from Kieran Tierney’s deflected cross as Wolves conceded their first goal in 448 minutes.

Eddie Nketiah had earlier hit the post for the Gunners while Adama Traore spurned Wolves’ best chance when he chipped over midway through the second half.

The hosts were made to rue the miss when Lacazette made it 2-0 with four minutes left when he converted Joe Willock’s low cross.

Lacazette sealed Arsenal's fourth successive win in all competitions
Lacazette sealed Arsenal’s fourth successive win in all competitions (Michael Steele/NMC Pool/PA)

Wolves suffered their first league defeat since the restart and now trail the top four by three points with five games left.

Boss Nuno Espirito Santo said: “You cannot control what is said outside, we have to focus on ourselves. We never look at the table. What drives us is our performance.

“Today we didn’t perform so well and that’s what guides our approach. The rest is something we cannot control.

Wolves had not conceded a goal until the defeat on Saturday
Wolves had not conceded a goal until the defeat on Saturday (Catherine Ivill/NMC Pool/PA)

“We have to analyse, see the things we weren’t able to do and why that was. We were better in the second half so it’s a good starting point.

“It was not one of the best performances, the first half was no so good. Both teams were very balanced.

“The second half we started better with urgency and we had some chances but as the game goes by we knew they were dangerous on the counter attack.”

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rhs 2.0
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CLiverpool38323385335299
2Manchester CityMan City382639102356781
3Manchester UnitedMan Utd391813867373067
4Chelsea392061370571366
5Leicester CityLeicester381881267412662
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs3816111161471459
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves381514951401159
8Arsenal381414105648856
9Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd381412123939054
10Burnley38159144350-754
11Everton401411154858-1053
12Southampton38157165160-952
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle381111163858-2044
14Crystal Palace381110173150-1943
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton38914153954-1541
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham38109194962-1339
17Aston Villa3898214167-2635
RBournemouth3897224065-2534
RWatford38810203664-2834
RNorwich CityNorwich3856272675-4921

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