Aston Villa full-back Ashley Young has slammed Arsenal for their celebrations following their 1-0 victory at Villa Park on Saturday. The Gunners rode on a Bukayo Saka first-half strike in a game where goalscoring opportunities were at a premium for both teams.
Nevertheless, the Gunners' solid defensive display helped them keep a clean sheet as they returned to winning ways after a defeat to Liverpool. However, their post-game celebrations didn't impress Young, who made over 250 appearances for Manchester United.
Young, who won the Premier League, FA Cup, EFL Cup and Europa League with United, lambasted the Gunners for their extravagant celebrations. He said, as quoted by The Mirror:
"You saw the way they celebrated; to be honest, it was like they won the league. But it shows they found it tough. We want to be in those European places; we want to get the club back there, and everyone's got that ambition to get the club back there. So we want to make it a tough place to come, but we want to be winning games as well."
Young's Portuguese teammate Ruben Neves concurred:
"We saw the way they celebrated the win and that shows the level we are. I didn't see Arsenal celebrating like this in the past 10 years - it was like they won the league."
Arsenal's victory over Villa helped them go four points clear of fifth-placed Manchester United and with a game in hand.
Arsenal need to qualify for Champions League to land their primary transfer targets
Arsenal have been in a rebuild under Mikel Arteta. Qualifying for next season's UEFA Champions League could help the Gunners keep hold of their star players and sign their top transfer targets.
Bukayo Saka has been a standout performer for the Gunners this season, scoring ten goals and providing five assists across competitions. He is out of contract in 2023 and is keen to play in the Champions League and win silverware.
The Gunners must convince the youngster to sign a long-term contract and continue his development at the club.
The Gunners are also in desperate need of a top-quality striker. Club captain Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah - the only two recognised strikers at the moment - are set to depart as free agens in the summer.
They parted ways with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in January after he was frozen out of the first team and stripped of the club's captaincy by Arteta due to disciplinary breaches.
The Gunners couldn't sign a replacement for the 32-year-old, so Arteta is likely to prioritise signing a striker this summer. Finishing in the top four will help the club lure a world-class striker to north London.