Mikel Arteta cheers for ‘really important’ Carabao Cup win as Arsenal turn down AFC Wimbledon to maintain winning momentum en route to the crunch of Sunday’s North London derby
- Arsenal claimed a comfortable 3-0 win over AFC Wimbledon for the Spurs draw
- Alexandre Lacazette opened the scoring early from the penalty spot
- Late goals from Emile Smith Rowe and Eddie Nketiah sealed the routine win
- Arsenal draw Leeds United home in the fourth round next month
Mikel Arteta believes the momentum his Arsenal side continued to build with their third-round Carabao Cup win over AFC Wimbledon will be a key factor when they face neighbors Tottenham on Sunday.
The Gunners won 3-0 against their third-tier rivals. Alexandre Lacazette’s early penalty was supplemented by shots in the second half from Emile Smith Rowe and Eddie Nketiah.
Arsenal had lost the first three games of the Premier League but came back this weekend, beating Norwich and Burnley 1-0 with Spurs next at the Emirates Stadium.
Mikel Arteta believes it was crucial to win ahead of Sunday’s clash with rivals Tottenham
Alexandre Lacazette opened the scoring in the 11th minute from the penalty spot
With another win under his belt, Arteta feels his team is set for a bonkers derby in north London, where the win would put Arsenal on a level with their rivals.
When asked how important the winning momentum could be this weekend, Arteta replied: “Very important.
“Confidence is building, the competition gets the best out of you when you have tough moments and the lads have managed to win three games in a row so credit to how they handled the situation and now they are clearly looking forward to going.” Sunday to play in what is our biggest game of the season.
“As long as we were leading 1-0, of course they were still in the game and in a game situation you can concede a goal. We knew we had to finish the game and we did it in the end and looked comfortable.’
Arteta made 10 changes from the win over Burnley, with only Thomas Partey keeping his place as he continued to build his fitness after an ankle injury that left him missing the start of the season.
Thomas Partey was the only Arsenal player to keep his place and he impressed the whole time
“Yeah, he hasn’t played many minutes since he was injured,” Arteta said when asked if the idea was to always play an hour against Partey, with the Ghanaian midfielder replaced by Smith Rowe.
“We believe that the rhythm of the games is nothing like a training session and so he had to play and that was very beneficial.
“We didn’t think (it was a risk), that’s why we decided to play against him, but it’s always a risk when you have a match or training sessions at the intensity level we train at.
“We believe it was the right thing to do and he really pushed for it, so I think it worked out well.”
Wimbledon recovered well from the early setback from behind after Nesta Guinness-Walker Gabriel Martinelli made a mistake to let Lacazette score his second of the season from a penalty spot.
Emile Smith Rowe came off the bench and scored the second goal of the cup match
Eddie Nketiah sealed the win for Arsenal to help the team advance to the fourth round
Manager Mark Robinson made only three changes and was pleased with his side’s rendering.
“Of course it was a disappointing goal to concede,” he said.
“After that we recovered well and I think we had a really good period in the first half for 20 minutes where we held the ball very, very well. We may not have had enough threat in key areas.
“It was important that we came here and tried to be what we are, we want to be a possession-based side, so I think it was really important that we came here to be a version of ourselves and we have done.’