Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta swerved questions about David Raya in a tense interview after the 28-year-old made two glaring errors in Tuesday’s dramatic win over Luton Town. Declan Rice’s stoppage-time goal helped the Gunners to a 4-3 victory at Kenilworth Road, with Luton making it very difficult for the visitors to hit their stride.
Raya was at fault for two of Luton’s goals, with the Spaniard easily beaten in the air by Elijah Adebayo from a corner just after the break. He then allowed Ross Barkley’s close-range strike to squirm under his body and over the line as the Hatters took the lead, only for Kai Havertz to draw level before Rice headed home to claim all three points.
Arteta was quizzed on Arsenal’s goalkeeping situation after the final whistle, with Raya having replaced Aaron Ramsdale as their first-choice option since arriving on loan from Brentford. The Gunners manager was quick to shut down the line of questioning and looked visibly irritated in a tetchy moment, replying: “I am so happy with the team.”
He was then asked if he had spoken to Raya in the dressing room and snapped back: “I have spoken to all of them, they are all jumping. They are so happy, so I’m a very happy manager today.”
Arsenal ultimately deserved their victory over Luton, with the north Londoners enjoying the lion’s share of possession and chances in a hostile atmosphere at Kenilworth Road. The result saw them move five points clear of second-placed Liverpool in the Premier League table to fuel their ambitions of winning their first domestic title in two decades.
Speaking about the performance of his team, Arteta said: “So happy. We knew it would be a big battle here, we made it hard for ourselves the way we conceded the goals. The spirit of the team, how we fought. We showed our quality in the right moments and never gave up.
“We went for it and got our rewards today. Credit to them [Luton]. Their delivery was excellent, the finishing was excellent and sometimes you have to credit the opponent. Big compliments to them, it was a tough night.”
Arsenal have taken maximum points from their last four Premier League matches after Rice’s last-gasp winner against Luton, who fought incredibly hard but came up short in spite of their best efforts. The Gunners will be looking to make it five wins on the bounce when they face Aston Villa on Saturday, although Unai Emery’s men will certainly not be pushovers in front of their own fans.
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