Rice on late heroics and bouncebackability

Rice post United

As ‘Rice Rice Baby’ rung around Emirates Stadium after the final whistle, Gunners supporters heralded their new hero.

Level with Manchester United from the 28th minute right up until the 96th in Sunday’s Premier League game, it was our big signing of the summer who, having bossed the midfield throughout, was on hand at the far post to cushion Bukayo Saka’s corner and lace it past Andre Onana.

Gabriel Jesus’ sweet finish five minutes later was the cherry on top.

“To score and feel the stadium erupt with the sigh of relief that we got the three points from such a massive fixture, it’s incredible and what we play football for,” Declan said post-match.

It was far from plain-sailing, though, as United pushed for a breakthrough and had a goal just ruled out for offside, but Declan was delighted with the character shown to respond so quickly to going a goal down in the first half.

“To bounce back and show that fight and spirit and hunger with such a young team, you can see the mentality in the squad that we’ll never give up,” he said. 

“Mindset, mentality, energy. We’re creating the chances but just not finishing them off at the moment. It will come and the manager is on us to keep improving every day. We’re eager and hungry to learn and this squad is capable of doing good things.

“When we play such attacking football and want to win the ball high up the pitch, sometimes you’ll get caught on the counter-attack.

“We stuck to what we know, kept probing and pushing the door and in the end it paid off.

“There’s a real change in the feeling with the fans who are constantly with us and I’m sure they’ll be buzzing with that moment.”

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