Premier League Arteta Delighted to See Title Race Alive After Luton Win

After Arsenal defeated Luton Town 2-0 on Wednesday to reclaim the top spot in the Premier League, Mikel Arteta hailed his bit-part players.

Moving Forward Reiss Emile Smith Rowe started his third league game, Nelson made his debut, while midfielder Thomas Partey started in the starting lineup for the first time since August.

Despite the absence of Bukayo Saka and the benching of Declan Rice, Jorginho, and Gabriel Jesus, Arsenal demonstrated their depth, which was called into question when their chances of winning the title last season vanished in the final months.

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With a hand in both goals, Smith Rowe was particularly brilliant, while Partey picked up speed immediately.

“I look at my players and squad in a different way. It’s a joy to have them fit.

If we want to utilise the squad and maximise what we have, they have to play,” Arteta told reporters. “I think they did really well.

“I think we have won again with good confidence and I think they’ve been really important for us.”

Making five changes from the team that drew 0-0 with champions Manchester City on Sunday was a risky move by Arteta, even though Gabriel Martinelli and Rice came on as substitutes in the closing moments.

“When they have the moment, they have to take it and they certainly did today,” he said of his squad players.

“They gave me a reason every day, regardless of the result because it’s not the right decision and it’s not down to the result.

“If we would have lost the game, it would have been down to making the changes.

” You have to do what is right and what they deserve, and I was full of confidence that they would respond.”

Arsenal appears to be more capable of maintaining their title challenge; if Liverpool defeat Sheffield United on Thursday, they will forfeit first place.

“It’s certainly different to what we had last season, and the big injuries that we had in the key moments of the season,” Arteta said.

He reserved special praise for Smith Rowe.

“I love him as a player. It’s a joy to watch him, how he moves, how he changes direction, how physical he was today as well without the ball,” Arteta said.

“He won a lot of duels and he was thinking with that killer instinct to play forward and to make things happen. Today he helped us a lot to win the game.”

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