Mikel Arteta has offered his response to Ben White’s nasty spat with teammate Oleksandr Zinchenko after Arsenal’s 2-1 win at Nottingham Forest.
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The Gunners went 2-0 up with second-half goals from Gabriel Jesus and Bukayo Saka but were unable to keep a clean sheet as Forest netted in the 89th minute.
There were ugly scenes at full time for Arsenal with teammates White and Zinchenko involved in an altercation on the pitch over Forest’s late goal.
The Arsenal duo had to be physically separated with Arteta seen calming the Ukrainian left-back down.
‘That’s pushing each other and being not happy conceding and I have to encourage that and promote it in the right way and a respectful way,’ Arteta told TNT Sports about the incident.
‘Sometimes after the game it’s emotional and heated but I love that the players are pushing each other and demanding excellence.’
Pressed further about the ugly scenes, Arteta said in his post-match press conference: ‘I love it. They are demanding more.
‘They are just trying to resolve it. Playing the way we played the result has to be bigger.’
Arteta, speaking more generally about Arsenal’s win at the City Ground, added: ‘I’m really happy with the performance and the result. What happened last year (defeat handing the Premier League title to Man City) was still in our tummy.
‘The performance was good, we had to be patient, we were able to generate chances in various ways which is pleasing. We conceded a goal and then you had to suffer.’