We were second best in the first half at Preston.
Arsene Wenger admitted it, so did the players, and the fans - 6,000 of them at Deepdale and millions around the world - were well aware of it too.
Something had to change at half-time on Saturday and it did. The reward was two goals - one at either end of the second half - and a place in the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup.
So what did the boss get from his players after the break?
“I felt that we gave less room, we were more dominant in the duels and football is about that,” he told Arsenal Player.
“If you do not go into the 50:50s with complete belief, complete commitment, you are second best - and that’s what happened in the first half. We were there but at 90 per cent. Even today against a Championship team that is not enough. You have to be absolutely at your best to qualify. That’s what we did in the second half.
“We were caught cold in the first half by the enthusiasm of Preston, and their quality as well. You must say it’s a good team. We responded very well and as usual we came back.
“It was important to qualify in a very difficult game and I would have been very disappointed to go out of the competition today because we care about this trophy. We have shown that in the past and we want to stay in this competition.”
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