Arsenal beat Watford on Sunday in a game that was more nervy towards the ned than it needed to be.

Arsenal's Spanish manager Mikel Arteta applauds at the end of the English Premier League football match between Watford and Arsenal at Vicarage Road Stadium in Watford, north-west of London on March 6, 2022. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Arsenal’s Spanish manager Mikel Arteta applauds at the end of the English Premier League football match between Watford and Arsenal at Vicarage Road Stadium in Watford, north-west of London on March 6, 2022. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Arsenal were given an early warning when Watford had the ball in the back of the net after only 17 seconds, only for the flag to save them.

From there, it was a game of superb finishes in which Arsenal should have been much more comfortable than they were as the game wound to a close.

Martin Odegaard, Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli all found the back of the net, the last two trolling Thomas Partey with goals from outside the box.

Arsenal were far from their defensive best during this game, but they saw it out and took fourth place ahead of Manchester United playing Manchester City.

After the match, Mikel Arteta said, “I think we were really good going forward but we didn’t have the same energy and commitment defensively.

“When that happens you’re going to suffer. We conceded two and we could have conceded another one or two.”

Asked about the top four race, Arteta said, “I don’t like to look at the table a lot because we have games in hand. We’re going to have different fixtures and there’s only one objective. I cannot control the results.”

Arteta on Saka and Odegaard

I think it’s between them, the way the game flows. How we attack, the timing is much better. The position we get and the threat is much better.

Arteta on his ‘assist’ for Martinelli’s goal

If everybody can contribute then good

Arteta on Saka bouncing back after the Euros

I think that was a big boost for him to realise in difficult moments he’s going to get support. He needs that room, don’t read too much, do what you do.

Arteta on if there’s a case for Laca to stay

There is a case. At the end of the season when we know where we are we’ll sit down with those three players and between all of us make a decision.

Arteta on Sky Sports

“We had great moments today again attacking but I wasn’t pleased with our organisation.

“The structure we had to be prepared when we lose the ball to control certain spaces which against Watford are key. If not, it becomes that transition game, if you don’t finish the action you have to deal with the counter.

“We suffered and we could have conceded some goals there. We didn’t dominate the game exactly the way we wanted to do. Credit to Watford as well but a lot was down to us.

“We know how difficult it is in this league to be in the position that we are in,” he added.

“We have earned it. We have come a long way as a team and today again it showed how difficult it is to win a match in the Premier League.

“Yeah, [they are] very happy because they know again how difficult it is to win any game.

“We’ve done four in a row now, we have another run of three matches in the next week or so, let’s go for it. Review, improve a lot of things from today as well, review the positive things, get the momentum going, the sprint going and let’s go to the next one.”

Previous articleArteta & Odegaard respond to captaincy speculation
Next articleLacazette to stay? “There is a case” says Arteta
Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.