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Mikel Arteta sends “ruthless” warning as Arsenal return to top four after West Ham win


Arsenal convincingly beat West Ham United 2-0 at the Emirates on Wednesday but manager Mikel Arteta is not getting ahead of himself, despite the Gunners moving up to fourth place in the Premier League

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In pictures: Arsenal v West Ham

Mikel Arteta has warned his players of the “ruthless” Premier League and challenged them to push on after Arsenal returned to the top four by beating West Ham United.

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The Gunners earned a 2-0 victory over David Moyes ‘ Irons to leapfrog them in the table on Wednesday at the Emirates.

Goals from Gabriel Martinelli and Emile Smith Rowe sealed the win, saving Alexandre Lacazette ‘s blushes after his penalty was saved by former Arsenal goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski.

Arteta was once again without Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, having stripped the striker of the captaincy ahead of the match for once again breaching disciplinary boundaries.

But the young Gunners side picked up all three points and will sit fourth after a December gameweek for the first time since 2018.

Join the debate! Will Arsenal finish in the top four? Give us your verdict here.

Arteta was delighted with his team

Post-match, Arteta was asked whether he was happy with fourth spot at this stage and admitted: “No because this league has to finish in May.

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“It’s better than where we were, but we want to be higher. This league is ruthless.”

The Spaniard went on to say: “[I am] really pleased with the performance; the attitude the commitment, the quality that we showed in the game.

“It’s really important because it sets the tone of the team against a good side who it’s difficult to dominate.

“The players play for the club and the pride that we expect from them.

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“I was really happy from the beginning, because we knew that we had to play really good today to beat West Ham.”

The result makes it Arsenal’s fifth successive home clean sheet, something Arteta was also delighted with.

“As I said before I think it’s a collective matter,” the Gunners boss explained.

“When you have the front players doing the work now it facilitates the process.

We have cut down a lot of individual errors which in the past cost us a lot of points.”

Have your say! How did Arsenal far against West Ham? Rate the players below.

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Goalscorer Martinelli told BT Sport : “It was a very good game, we needed the win. It was so important for the team.

“We know the potential that we have. We are a young team but it was a great victory and I’m so happy.

“We knew it was going to be a very hard game but as I said we have a very good group, very good players and we won the game. We are so happy.”

Asked if Aubameyang’s situation was a distraction for the squad, the Brazilian added: “Nah, nah we are a team and we are together.

“It’s up to Mikel and to the whole team who is going to be the captain.”

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