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Mikel Arteta piles pressure on Arsenal stars with bold Champions League verdict | Football | Sport

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Mikel Arteta insisted that a club of Arsenal’s stature must not be without Champions League football next season after Sunday’s convincing win over Leicester City at the Emirates Stadium. Two goals either side of half-time from Thomas Partey and Alexandre Lacazette saw the Gunners claim all three points in yet another impressive showing on home soil.

Partey gave Arsenal an early head when he headed home from a corner after just 11 minutes before coming close to scoring another as he smacked a shot against the crossbar moments later.

The Gunners had Aaron Ramsdale to thank for maintaining their advantage as half-time approached, with the England ace producing a string of fine saves to keep the visitors out.

Arteta’s side eventually managed to put themselves in control of the match after the break when Alexandre Lacazette lashed home from the penalty spot after Caglar Soyuncu was deemed to have handled the ball inside the area.

The result saw Arsenal remain fourth in the Premier League table ahead of fifth-placed Manchester United in their battle to secure Champions League qualification for next season.

Arteta was bullish about his side’s chances of booking their place in the tournament when quizzed on the topic after the full-time whistle.

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He chose to pile the pressure on his players by declaring that a club of Arsenal’s size must play at the highest possible level, urging them to ensure the job is done between now and the end of the campaign.

“We have to be there, we should be there,” Arteta told BBC Sport.

“Our history obliges to be there but we are not there yet and there are still a lot of games to play.

“We have an excellent group of people at the club who believes in what we do and then you have to put performance into results.

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“The last few months we have been more consistent.”

Arteta went on to highlight the mutual understanding of his players as a key factor in shaping Arsenal’s victory over Leicester, which extended the club’s winning run in the Premier League to five matches.

“Without putting in a performance we don’t beat Leicester,” the Gunners boss told Sky Sports.

“They are a good side and made it tough for us, it was a big win for us. I was pleased with the understanding of what we had to do.

“When they started to overload in certain areas, we understood how we had to resolve that. [I was] also pleased with the movement and link-up between the players was terrific.”

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