Arteta relief as Partey impresses again
Thomas Partey was "demanding" to play as Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta was forced to defend his decision to risk the midfielder in Wednesday night's 3-0 EFL Cup win over Wimbledon.
Arteta was delighted to see his side make it three wins on the bounce - Arsenal are 4/1 to win the League Cup after setting up a fourth-round tie at home to Leeds - and relieved that Partey came through unscathed after making his second start in a few days following an injury.
The Gunners' chief had predictably rung the changes for the showdown with the Dons with 10 players dropping out from the side which won 1-0 at Burnley on Saturday.
But there were eyebrows raised when star midfielder Partey's name was left on the teamsheet - just four days before the North London derby against Tottenham.
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The Ghana international had only made his first start of the season at Turf Moor at the weekend having missed several weeks because of an ankle injury.
"He was demanding to play because he believes that he is still catching up a little bit," Arteta told reporters.
"He hasn't played a lot of minutes since he's been injured. We believe the rhythm of matches is nothing like any training session. I think it was very beneficial for him.
"It's always a risk when you play a match or have a training session at the intensity that we train. We believe it was the right thing to do and he was really pushing for it, so I think it worked out well."