'We had to roll our sleeves up' – Nketiah praises Arsenal's 'fight' after 'very important' win over Southampton

Eddie Nketiah has praised Arsenal’s ‘fight’ after the club secured their first win since the Premier League’s restart with a 2-0 victory over Southampton at St Mary’s.

Mikel Arteta’s side headed to the South Coast in poor form after consecutive defeats to Manchester City and Brighton, but return to the capital with three points courtesy of goals from Nketiah and Joe Willock.

Alex McCarthy’s dreadful error allowed Nketiah to open the scoring in the first-half, the goalkeeper taking too long in possession following a back pass and hitting his attempted clearance against the onrushing striker, handing the 21-year-old the simplest of tasks to turn the ball into an empty night.

Joe Willock sealed the points late on against a Southampton side who had Jack Stephens sent off with five minutes remaining, and Nketiah has hailed the Gunners’ fighting spirit after bouncing back to secure a ‘very important three points’.

“It was a very important three points. We have been unfortunate and we knew we had to roll our sleeves up and fight for the win,” he told Sky Sports.

“Southampton came out really strong in the second half and we worked hard in the heat to keep going.

”We work a lot on our high press and for me personally, I always try to give my all and I could smell the uncertainty from the goalkeeper. I have done it hundreds of times so I’m glad one of them has led to a goal.”

Arsenal return to action when they travel to face Sheffield United in the FA Cup quarter-finals on Sunday, whilst Southampton face Watford at Vicarage Road in the Premier League on the same day.

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