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Arteta praises Jesus after chopping down Forest
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Matthew Hill
Gabriel Jesus came in for special praise from Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta
Gabriel Jesus came in for special praise from Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta

Mikel Arteta hailed the performance of Gabriel Jesus as the Brazilian scored and assisted in the Gunners' 2-1 victory at Nottingham Forest.

Jesus, 28, netted just his fourth goal of the Premier League campaign when slotting through the legs of his former team-mate Matt Turner from an acute angle.

His precise pass then fed Bukayo Saka for his second strike in three games, meaning Taiwo Awoniyi's late goal for the hosts proved a mere consolation.

Much of the January transfer window discussion has circled around the North Londoners' need for reinforcements up front but Arteta was thrilled with his No9's efforts at the City Ground.

He said: "We really need him [Jesus] at his best. I had a great feeling before the game and I told him. 

"He had some fluid in the knee and he was struggling. He was kicking every physio out there two days ago saying, 'I want to be on that pitch'.

"He pushed everybody to be there and when someone has that attitude, that desire in this moment, something good is going to happen because of the ability and the quality to do it. 

"He was magnificent today, I think."

Meanwhile, Arteta was keen to play down a heated full-time discussion between defenders Oleksandr Zinchenko and Ben White.

The pair appeared to exchange words over Forest's late goal but it was not enough to concern their boss.

Arteta added: "That's pushing each other and being not happy, conceding nothing. And I have to encourage that and promote it in the right way, in a respectful way.

"Sometimes after the game, it’s too emotional and too heated, but I love that the players are pushing each other and demanding excellence.

"Today we conceded a goal that is not at the level that we want.

"Now we're going to have a massive game against Liverpool at the top of the table. And we're going to have to be even better than today, for sure."


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