Football UK

Arteta explains decision to make two changes to Arsenal team that beat Fulham


Mikel Arteta has explained his reasoning for making two changes ahead of Arsenal’ s clash with West Ham.

The north Londoners’ welcomed the Hammers to the Etihad on Saturday night for their first home game of the season.

Arteta’s troops went into the match on the back of a demolition of last season’s Championship play-off final winners Fulham.

The Gunners ran out 3-0 winners at Craven Cottage, with goals from Alexandre Lacazette, Gabriel Magalhaes and Pierre-Emerick Aubamayenag securing victory.

Given how well his troops played against the Cottagers, many expected Arteta to name an unchanged team for the visit of the Hammers.

That, however, proved not to be the case, with the Spaniard making two changes for the match.

Mikel Arteta speaks to the media ahead of Arsenal’s Premier League clash with West Ham

Arteta, surprisingly, dropped Mohamed Elneny and Ainsley Maitland-Niles in favour of Dani Ceballos and Bukayo Sako.

The Gunners chief was quizzed about his decision before kick-off and revealed he drafted in Ceballos and Saka to give his side a different dimension.

“Every game demands different things,” he told Sky Sports. “I want to keep everyone involved.

1. Real Madrid – £1.286bn (£205m fall from 2019)

2. Barcelona – £1.280bn (£18.1m rise)

3. Manchester United – £1.190bn (£143m fall)

4. Liverpool – £1.143bn (£64.3m rise)

5. Manchester City – £1.018bn (£118m fall)

6. Bayern Munich – £957m (£233m fall)

7. Paris Saint-Germain – £876m (£48m rise)

8. Chelsea – £859m (£17m fall)

9. Tottenham Hotspur – £710m (£23.5m rise)

10. Arsenal – £651m (£150m fall)

“Last season we won this game but there were so many aspects we didn’t control and we were lucky to win. We need to do better tonight.”

Arteta’s changes almost didn’t end up paying dividends, with his troops being held to a 1-1 draw until the 85th minute.

France international Alexandre Lacazette gave the Gunners the lead in the first half but saw his header cancelled out by Michail Antonio right before the stroke of half-time.

Arsenal huffed and puffed to try and find a winner and eventually broke down the resilient Hammers defence in the 85th minute, with substitute Eddie Nketiah firing home from close range.

The Gunners will be back in action on Wednesday night, travelling to the King Power Stadium to take on Leicester in the third round of the Carabao Cup

West Ham, meanwhile, will take on Championship side Hull City on Tuesday night.


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