Press conference

Arteta on the win, Nketiah, Tomiyasu and top four

Mikel Arteta spoke to the media after our victory over Leeds United at Emirates Stadium.

The boss discussed Eddie Nketiah's future, Takehiro Tomiyasu playing left-back, the latest injury news and more.

Read on for a full transcript of his post-match press conference:

on if we made hard work of the win…
Yes, considering the way that we started I think we were electric, so determined, so incensive, we scored two good goals, created chances and didn’t allow anything to happen around our box. And after that, obviously, the red card presents a different match where they change completely their behaviour and how they set up and we have to manage the game in a different way. I think for a lot of phases we did well, but we needed to score the third goal and we had the chances to do so and then the accident happen when the first time that they were through at a set-piece we conceded a goal and it’s game on and some nerves have to handled.

on if we took our foot off the gas…
I don’t think so, it was just to try to play the game that we have to play in that phase, I think we showed a lot of maturity not to rush things and start to concede breaks, we didn’t do any of that, but then we didn’t find the net in key moments to score the third goal and have a different last 20 minutes.

on if the team is motivated to secure Champions League against Tottenham…
We want to prepare and go for that match like we always do, with the same enthusiasm, but knowing obviously that this can be a defining moment and that’s an extra level of motivation and another layer for us to really go for it and I can’t wait to play that game.

on Nketiah’s future…
Eddie is doing what he’s done all season, he’s been very consistent, with his performances and how little he is giving things away! Let him be, let him enjoy the moment because he completely deserves it and things will happen naturally.

on winning by narrow margins recently…
Well, we are finding ways to win football matches. The way we played today, especially the first 30 minutes was brilliant. So under pressure to play the way we have done in front of our people is a credit to them, but obviously, we have an opponent and the context changes throughout the game and you don’t expect to be all the time for 95 minutes on top of the game and we are dealing with that and getting better at is because at the end, we are winning football matches.

on controlling the nerves...
Hopefully not, but I think when you look at the other games, you see a lot of that. Now is the defining moment when a goal can change the whole season, and that plays in the back of the players but I didn’t see any of that at the start of the game. 

on his relationship with Xhaka...
It’s the relationship he has with his teammates, obviously the fact he plays a lot of minutes, and credit to him because he’s been really consistent again throughout the season, that’s what we need from the players to get close to their best. 

on Saka’s fitness...
Yeah, he was fine. 

on players suffering during matches...
This is football, if you look at what happened a few days ago in Madrid, there are things that nobody can explain but this is the beauty of this match, and suffering unfortunately for all of us, especially for the managers, it’s part of it. 

on whether White will be fit for the north London derby
I think so, he’s been starting to do a little bit of work now on the pitch and we want everybody available because we know that game is so important. 

Tomiyasu playing left-back. 
It was for today, we cannot do things thinking about the next game, we believe it was the right thing to do today with what we wanted to do in that side, especially what Leeds had on the side. 

on the mood inside the dressing room...
Really good, really positive, but at the same time really humble. We know that nothing has been achieved yet and still a lot of things and a lot of minutes to play to do what we want to achieve. 

on Pepe’s missed chance...
When you see that he’s got an empty net in front of him and he’s taking a touch backward, we cannot really understand but you have to have the perception of the player in that moment. They are the ones who make the decisions, and fortunately, we didn’t need that goal.

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