Mikel Arteta has opened up on the wild celebrations that have seen him pick up a one-match Premier League ban.
The Arsenal boss could barely contain himself during the Gunners’ late 4-3 victory against Luton on Tuesday evening. Declan Rice guided home a header in the final few moments of the clash, triggering wild celebrations among the players, staff and fans at the stadium.
Arteta picked up a yellow card for his reaction – his third of the season despite his assistants trying to stop him. That now means that the Spaniard now faces a one-match ban in the Premier League after new rules introduced at the start of the season.
He will now miss this weekend’s trip to the Midlands to take on Aston Villa – the Gunners being reunited with former boss Unai Emery. Speaking after the game, Arteta explained his reaction.
He told beIN Sports: “I could not be seated in my seat. It was pure emotion. If that’s a yellow… that’s a yellow.”
Arteta continued to talk through the dramatic victory during his post-match press conference and claimed that it was the least his side deserved. “We don’t want a draw, we want to win.
“That drive and risk and emotion that we put in the pitch you can sense it. We could have scored before with the chances that we had. We didn’t, but we tried right to the end and we got rewarded.”
He then added: “Really enjoyed it. Especially the end. This is the incredible thing about football, emotions and what you live together with a lot of people. It was a special night.
“Credit to Luton, the atmosphere they created, how they were coached, how they made it difficult for us, but we found a way to win. The resilience, and the character, and the quality and desire to win that the team showed was great.”
Arsenal’s win against Luton was the second time in three Premier League games that they have found a late winner. Their other late success came via Kai Havertz’s 89th-minute goal vs Brentford.
Arteta claims that is a good habit for Arsenal to have developed as they aim to end their long wait for a Premier League crown.
Asked if Arsenal’s late shows were a concern, he replied: “No, because we didn’t really concede again nothing. It was the two set plays and the goals that we scored. Apart from that there was nothing else. They were really efficient in the box today and that’s credit to the opponents. You have to accept that.”
If things go their way, Arsenal might lead the Premier League by eight points at the conclusion of the week. Liverpool, in second place, will play Crystal Palace over the weekend and Sheffield United on Wednesday.