Arteta: Arsenal ‘have earned the right’ to achieve Champions League qualification in crunch NLD

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Mikel Arteta celebrates a goal Credit: PA Images
Mikel Arteta celebrates a goal Credit: PA Images

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta believes his side have “earned the right” to seal Champions League qualification in Thursday’s north London derby.

The Gunners were victorious against Leeds United on Sunday to go four points clear of Tottenham in fourth.

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Arteta told Match of the Day: “We started extremely well. We were determined and created chance after chance. And then playing against 10 men it is always more complicated.

“We controlled the game really well. It became nervy and you start to defend that result.”

A win against Spurs on Thursday will seal a top-four finish for Arsenal. Finishing in the Europa League places was the minimum expectation going into the season, and with the team close to finishing fourth, Arteta insists his side have “earned the right” to exceed those expectations by bringing Champions League football back to the Emirates.

“We know that and we have earned the right to play that game in that context,” he added. “We started the season with nine or 10 players out and playing the best two teams in Europe.

“Winning any match is extremely difficult. We are going to prepare for the game as best as can.”

Eddie Nketiah scored twice in the 2-1 victory, netting both of his goals inside the first 10 minutes of the match.

The 22-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season and is only likely to renew his deal if he is Arteta’s first choice up top.

On the in-form striker, the Spanish manager said: “Let him be. Let him enjoy the moment and things will happen naturally.”

After missing the last two games through injury, Arteta confirmed that Benjamin White should return for the north London derby.

He said: “I think so [he’ll be available against Tottenham]. He’s starting to do a little bit of work on the pitch. We want everyone available.”

The article Arteta: Arsenal ‘have earned the right’ to achieve Champions League qualification in crunch NLD appeared first on Football365.com.

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