Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has hailed Declan Rice for his outstanding performance in their 6-0 win over West Ham United in the Premier League on Sunday, February 11.
Rice was named in the starting XI to face his former club at the London Stadium. The 25-year-old began his professional career with the Hammers in 2017, making 245 appearances across all competitions over the next six years.
The England international set up Arsenal’s opener in the 32nd minute as William Saliba headed home from the former’s corner. Rice got his second assist of the night in the 44th minute, producing a sublime cross from a free-kick which was headed in by Gabriel Magalhaes.
With the scoreline reading 5-0, Rice added insult to injury, firing a screamer into the top-left corner in the 65th minute. However, he chose not to celebrate against his former side as the Gunners sealed all three points.
During the post-match press conference, Arteta said (via Arsenal’s official website):
“I’m really happy with him because it was a very emotional and special day for him. He loves West Ham so much, and today he had to focus on the task and what he had to deliver.”
“Set-piece were one of those, because when we have certain players on the field, he can threaten from outside of the box more than inside the box. And then I was really pleased to see the class of the crowd as well to give him the reception that, I think, he deserves.”
In addition, Rice created four chances and completed 66 passes out of an attempted 71 with an accuracy of 93 percent. He has been phenomenal for the Gunners this season so far, posting five goals and seven assists in 33 appearances across all competitions.
Mikel Arteta hails Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka after 6-0 West Ham win
Arsenal boss has praised Bukayo Saka for proving everyone wrong after he put in a player-of-the-match performance in their 6-0 win against West Ham United on Sunday.
Saka won his side a penalty and converted it in the 41st minute to make the score 2-0. He then completed his brace in the 63rd minute with a well-drilled shot in the bottom-right corner.
During the aforementioned press-conference, Arteta said:
“That at his age, in the position and consistency [he shows] – normally they don’t go in the same line – he’s proving everybody wrong and [showing] he can do it. What he has done today as well I had doubts that he was going to take the penalty or not because of what happened [last season], but it shows as well how mature he is and how determined he is as well to go to the next level.”
Saka has netted 13 goals and registered 13 assists in 31 appearances across all competitions this season to date.