Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta says that “winning helps winning” as his side narrowly beat Zurich 1-0 to secure their place in the last 16 of the Europa League.
Kieran Tierney’s thumping 20-yard drive into the bottom right corner ensured the Gunners finished top of Group A on 15 points, two clear of PSV Eindhoven.
It was also the English Premier League leaders’ 10th victory in 12 matches in all competitions, a habit Arteta is keen to retain with his side facing three more matches until their season breaks for the World Cup in Qatar.
While Arsenal’s margin of victory could have been more significant, there were still other positives for Arteta to take.
The Spaniard was able to introduce Bukayo Saka after the break to allay any fitness concerns and he also rested several key players prior to Sunday’s Premier League trip to Chelsea.
The only complaint was that Arsenal did not put the result beyond doubt during a dominant first-half display in which Eddie Nketiah twice stung the palms of Zurich goalkeeper Yanick Brecher, and Fabio Vieira saw his goalbound effort blocked from close range.
That ensured a nervy finale with Adrian Guerrero’s left-foot effort ruled out for offside and Ukrainian forward Bogdan Viunnyk seeing his rasping drive just fly wide of the top left corner as the visitors searched for an equaliser.
However, the hosts held on and have now won all eight of their matches against Swiss clubs in European competition.