Mikel Arteta admitted Arsenal were lucky to scrape a narrow victory over West Ham as Eddie Nketiah came off the bench to score the winner on a poor day at the office for the hosts.
With a fine victory over Fulham last weekend and captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang finally signing his new contract heading into the Premier League visit of West Ham, morale was high in the Arsenal camp.
But it took an 85th-minute goal from Nketiah to seal a 2-1 win after Michail Antonio had cancelled out Alexandre Lacazette’s opener on the stroke of half-time.
West Ham were narrowly beaten at the Emirates Stadium before the lockdown and were good again here – only to leave with nothing courtesy of Nketiah’s contribution.
“We were a little bit lucky for sure but we found a way to win,” Arteta said.
“That’s the mentality I want. At the end it’s three points. There are a lot of things to improve.
“We are still very far from where we want to be. We are still adapting things but it’s great to have six points already.
“Between 55 and 65 minutes I could see the team giving up. I tried to lift them up and I saw a different team in the last 20 minutes. We’re going to have games like that.”
West Ham boss David Moyes felt his side would have been deserving of all three points but singled out video assistant referee decisions that went against the visitors.
There was a tight offside call against Aubameyang for Arsenal’s first goal and a potential penalty for handball against Gabriel Magalhaes which was turned down, with Moyes unhappy with the outcomes of both.
“We should have won tonight or at least got a draw,” he said.
“Lots of things didn’t go for us and we turned off at the last minute which ultimately cost us.
“We are all really disappointed because we feel our performance was good and feel we were let down by decisions.
“Very fine margins on the first goal, then the handball, against Newcastle we had one that wasn’t given.
“We aren’t going to use them as excuses but we have had a tough night for it tonight.
“It was a massively improved performance from last week (a 2-0 loss at Newcastle), we were good on the ball and more composed.
“We were playing a form team, we are aware of that and I’m disappointed we haven’t come away with any points.”