Emile Smith Rowe has explained how Arsenal’s pre-match preparations helped them come out on top against Chelsea on Wednesday evening.
Mikel Arteta’s side completed the league double over their London rivals for the first time since the 2003/04 season, having also defeated the Blues 3-1 at the Emirates back in December.
Smith Rowe scored the game’s only goal in the 16th minute of the match as the Gunners punished a poor back-pass from Jorginho.
Martin Odegaard and Smith Rowe pressurised Kurt Zouma and Jorginho when in possession of the ball, which led to the Italian’s mistake and the visitors scoring.
Speaking after the match, Smith Rowe explained how Arsenal’s pressing game plan had paid off.
Smith Rowe told Sky Sports: “I feel like it was an important result for us. We had to dig deep, it was a really tough test for us. It’s really important for our season.
“We worked on that in training this week, the pressing, the high pressing, so I feel like we did well to make them make a mistake and then Auba set me up.
“This happens sometimes, I’m happy it went in, but it was a lucky finish.
“It means so much to score for this fantastic club. I just want to keep pushing on now.”
The 20-year-old has impressed in Arteta’s side this campaign, with this his second goal in as many matches.
Scoring at Stamford Bridge will have been a sweet moment for the Croydon-born midfielder, having been rejected by the Blues as a youngster due to his height.
But Smith Rowe was keen to put this in the past as he focused on the ‘character’ shown by the Gunners to grind out three points.
“That’s the past, I’m focused on Arsenal and they’re my club,” he said regarding being turned down by Chelsea.
“I’m so tired. I feel like the team played well today, we had to dig deep and we played well today.
“It shows our character, shows the heart we have. We defended really well in patches and after the tough season, it was a good performance from us today.”
Arsenal’s remain in contention to claim a European spot before the end of the Premier League season.
Crystal Palace and Brighton are the final two opponents Arteta’s side must face.