Oleksandr Zinchenko’s first goal for Arsenal helped lay the platform for a memorable comeback win away to Aston Villa on Saturday.
Trailing 2-1 at half-time, the Ukrainian rifled his first goal for us low into the corner to pull us level, but it was in injury-time that the real drama arrived.
After a first-half in which we mustered just two attempts on goal, we racked up 18 after the interval, and were finally rewarded when Jorginho’s long-range screamer rebounded into the net off the bar via Emi Martinez’s head. Gabriel Martinelli then sealed the points by walking home a breakaway fourth goal.
“It was obviously an amazing reaction from all of us in the second half,” Alex told us at full-time, “because we didn’t play well in the first half. That shows again that we have character in this team. With this group of people, if we’re going to do our things right, we can achieve a lot of good things in the future.
“So we just need to stick together, analyse what we have done wrong and to improve ourselves because there are still plenty of things to do. Let’s see what’s going to happen in the future.”
There was little sign of what was to come at half-time, when we were staring down the barrel of a fifth consecutive game without a win.
“The manager said the right words at half time,” the Ukrainian added, “what we needed to do on the pitch in the second half. Everyone wanted to get back out onto the pitch as soon as possible, we went out of the door even before the whistle.
“That was a good reaction from all of us. Nobody went down, everyone wanted to get the ball, show courage to win the game and we showed it in the second half.”
The left back claimed his first goal for us – in his 20th appearance, when he netted from outside the area, and indeed it was his first Premier League goal, from 92 games in the competition. But despite the landmark, it was all about getting the win today.
“It was 2-2 and we wanted to score another one, so there was no time for celebrations,” he said. “I’m so happy to help the team, but for me, the three points were the priority.
“It was so important for us to be back on track. It’s not just about in terms of points and the table. It’s about the rhythm and our mood in the dressing room and the training ground. We just need to keep fighting until the very end.”
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