Super Eagles star Alex Iwobi was an unused substitute for Arsenal who ended their four-game winless streak away from home in the Premier League on Monday by defeating Middlesbrough 2-1 at the Riverside Stadium 2-1.
It was the second straight game the Nigerian forward would be missing.
Mesut Ozil grabbed the winner for the Gunners after Alvaro Negredo’s close range strike had cancelled out Alexis Sanchez’ s sublime freekick from the edge of the box.
The win also sees Arsenal close the gap on a Champions League place to seven points with six games left to play.
Arsenal were the better side at the start of the encounter in their new 3-4-3 formation dictating the pace of the game but it was Middlesbrough who had the ball in the back of the net.
Marten De Roon headed in Gaston Ramirez’s lob into the net in the 13th minute but the celebrations was short lived by the linesman’s flag for offside.
Arsenal had their first shot on goal after 28 minutes with Aaron Ramsey failing to finish off a nice build-up play from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Oliver Giroud.
In the 41st minute, Sanchez curled in a brilliant free-kick to hand Arsene Wenger’s side the lead into the break.
At the restart, Middlesbrough kicked off well and forced a corner which was wasted.
But in the 50th minute Negredo restored parity for the hosts with an improvised volley to lift the fans at the Riverside Stadium.
Stewart Downing had the chance to make it 2-1 but he blasted his shot wide after latching on to George Friend’s cross.
But in the 71st minute, Ozil fired in a low shot from 12 yards out to restore the Gunners’ lead.