Mikel Arteta made an interesting decision when he took off Martin Odegaard and replaced him with Rob Holding in the last few minutes of Arsenal’s win against Aston Villa.
The Gunners led from the 30th minute thanks to Bukayo Saka’s well-struck goal.
They were still in control of the game for much of the first half and after the interval.
Towards the end of the match, Villa piled on the pressure against their visitors.
They wanted to square the game badly, but Arsenal was resilient in defending.
The Gunners eventually added a new defender with 5 minutes to go when Holding entered the pitch in place of Odegaard.
Sky Sports journalist, Ben Grounds says that decision shows clearly that all Arsenal care about now is results.
He said on Sky Sports: “It was a sign of where the game was that Rob Holding replaced Martin Odegaard with five minutes to play. It is all about results for Arsenal at this stage of the campaign and there is no need to entertain.
“The prize is huge if they can finish in the top four after five years away from the Champions League and they strengthened that position at Villa.
“Mikel Arteta needed holding back by fourth official Martin Atkinson as he continued to point at his players to track back during an attritional second half.”
Just Arsenal Opinion
At this stage of the season, it doesn’t matter how many goals we score, what matters most is that we win the games.
If we can keep defending well and get just 1-0 wins between now and the end of the season, it would be amazing because it would get us into the Champions League.
Arteta has been such a breath of fresh air for this club and he deserves all the credit if we finish in the top four.