Arsenal wanted to win for Zinchenko and for people of Ukraine, says Mikel Arteta

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta with defender Oleksandr Zinchenko during the Gunners' Premier League game against Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium in February 2023.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has said he wanted the Gunners to beat Leicester on Saturday for Oleksandr Zinchenko and for the people of Ukraine a year on from the start of the nation's conflict with Russia.

Zinchenko was named captain for the day to mark the anniversary of the war, which broke out on February 24th, 2022 after Russia invaded Ukraine.

The Gunners edged out Leicester thanks to a Gabriel Martinelli goal early in the second half, which saw the Premier League leaders move provisionally five points clear of Manchester City ahead of the champions' trip to Bournemouth later in the day.

"We wanted to win for him," Arteta said of Zinchenko after the game.

"For his family and loved ones and all the people in Ukraine who have inspired the world with this fighting spirit they have shown for over a year now."

Arsenal will finish the day two points clear of City after Pep Guardiola's side sealed a big win at Bournemouth, but the Gunners have played one fewer fixture than the champions.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Weekend editor

Ben Hayward is Weekend Editor for FourFourTwo. A European football writer with over 15 years’ experience, he has covered games all over the world - including three World Cups, several Champions League finals, Euros, Copa América - and has spent much of that time in Spain. He currently divides his time between Barcelona and London.