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‘My work in training has paid off’

Per Mertesacker had to wait until the final half of the final game to make his first appearance of the Premier League season - and his 150th in the English top-flight.

The captain received a warm reception after replacing the injured Gabriel and, although Per loved being back on the pitch, he would have preferred it to happen in happier circumstances.

"What I did in training over the last year paid off today. Being on the pitch with the boys is what I used to do for 15 years"

“It’s a bit sad but I never look back, always look forward [because there are] quick changes in this league,” he told Arsenal.com.

“Today we had a couple of injuries before the game that made me in the squad. Then we unfortunately had a red card and another injury, which gave me a chance to play. But I felt quite good, honestly.

“What I did in training over the last year paid off today. Being on the pitch with the boys is what I used to do for 15 years. I’m still learning but I’m used to it. Take nothing for granted but it was special today.

“It’s a nice atmosphere after a win and we appreciate the fans and vice-versa. It’s a nice atmosphere but we didn’t get what we wanted, so there’s a little bit of disappointment. But heading to the FA Cup final is something we’re buzzed about.”

 

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