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The Gunners were cruising to an easy three points at the City Ground after second-half goals from Gabriel Jesus and Bukayo Saka but endured a nervy ending when Taiwo Awoniyi capitalised on a defensive mistake to give Forest a lifeline.
They saw out the victory which closed the gap on Premier League leaders Liverpool, but celebrations were cut short when White and Zinchenko had to be separated after arguing over the goal they conceded.
Arteta said: “I love it, they demand more from each other and they are not happy with the way they concede that and they are trying to resolve it.
“It was a bit heated, but that means it is not enough playing the way we played, the result has to be bigger.
“That’s pushing each other and being not happy conceding and I have to encourage that and promote it in the right way and a respectful way.
“Sometimes after the game it’s emotional and heated, but I love that the players are pushing each other and demanding excellence.”
The victory saw the Gunners exorcise the ghosts of last season when May’s 1-0 defeat at the City Ground saw their title challenge come to an end.
And Arteta was pleased to see his side put that right.
“I could feel it, they were talking about it coming to that dressing room,” he said. “It really reminds you, our brains and bodies are really intelligent and coming to the same situation they know what happened and they were really active and engaged and they were talking about the game with each other.
“I thought it was really good.
“I am really happy with the performance and the result. We saw what happened last year and we wanted to put it right, we wanted to generate some momentum in the league and I thought we did that.
“The performance was very good, we completely dominated the game. We had to be patient but we always had an eye to the opponent, we didn’t allow them to run.”
Awoniyi’s goal raised Forest’s hopes of snatching a draw, which would have been a steal considering they made no real attempt to win the match, with Nuno Espirito Santo’s pragmatic approach.
Defeat leaves them hovering precariously above the relegation zone, with the threat of a possible points deduction for breaching Premier League financial rules.
Boss Nuno said: “First half, we defended well. We were organised, compact and didn’t allow too many situations.
“Arsenal are a very good team in possession of the ball. We had to be patient and cover the right spaces in the wide areas.
“We were missing more possession of the ball. We should have had more possession; that was a negative. We were better in that aspect in the second half.
“We started the second half well and had good spells of possession. It was disappointing the way we conceded both goals.
“It was avoidable. We can avoid those situations.
“After we scored, there was a feeling we could have got something. We had a good 10-minute spell. But to sum up, we should have played better.”
Published: by Radio NewsHub