Match-winner Emile Smith Rowe has admitted that he and his Arsenal teammates had worked on forming a high press in the build up to Wednesday evening’s 1-0 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
After arriving in west London as overwhelming underdogs, the Gunners pounced on a rare mistake from Thomas Tuchel’s well-drilled side to secure a third successive Premier League victory.
Jorginho’s loose pass was inches away from rolling across the goal line until Kepa Arrizabalaga managed to palm it straight into the path of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who squared the ball back across goal for Smith Rowe to tap home his second goal in as many games, with his effort proving decisive.
Despite Chelsea huffing and puffing in the second half in the hope of finding a route back into the contest, Mikel Arteta’s side held on for what, at the start of the night, appeared to be an unlikely victory.
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.”
Having scored his first ever Premier League goal in Sunday’s 3-1 win over West Bromwich Albion, Smith Rowe probably could not have believed his luck when the opportunity arose to bag his second just three days later.
The moment will have tasted even sweeter, too, for the former Huddersfield Town loanee after he was rejected by Chelsea as a youngster because they thought he was too small.
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“That’s the past, I’m focused on Arsenal and they’re my club,” added the attacking-midfield ace.
“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.”