Arteta dedicates Zinchenko-led Arsenal win to Ukraine

Ukraine international Oleksandr Zinchenko replaced Martin Odegaard as the Gunners' captain for the day and wore an armband in the colours of the Ukrainian flag



Arsenal's Ukrainian defender Oleksandr Zinchenko is pictured wearing the captains armband in Ukranian colours. — AFP
Arsenal's Ukrainian defender Oleksandr Zinchenko is pictured wearing the captains armband in Ukranian colours. — AFP

By AFP

Published: Sun 26 Feb 2023, 12:17 AM

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta dedicated his side's 1-0 win at Leicester to remain on top of the Premier League to the people of Ukraine, one year on from Russia's invasion.

Ukraine international Oleksandr Zinchenko replaced Martin Odegaard as the Gunners' captain for the day and wore an armband in the colours of the Ukrainian flag.

"It was great because it was an initiative from the players," said Arteta. "Martin came to me yesterday and they wanted to have that gesture with him.

"Today we wanted to win for him, for his loved ones, and for all the Ukrainian people that I think has inspired the world with that fighting spirit and with the togetherness they showed as a country.

"If we can add some happiness today to them and reflecting on who Alex (Zinchenko) is for us, it was a good opportunity, so I'm delighted to dedicate that win to them."

A four-game winless run prior to a 4-2 victory at Aston Villa last weekend had dented Arsenal's hopes of a first league title for 19 years.

Arteta's men even briefly surrendered top spot to Manchester City, but are now two points clear of their title rivals with a game in hand.

"It was really important because it creates more belief in the players, around the club and externally," added Arteta on his side's return to winning ways.

"But I had the belief the players could do it. It was coming back to some details and basics that get games away from us that we made much more. The last two games -- especially today -- we have done it much more."


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