Arsenal rewarded for hard work with Southampton win, says Nketiah

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Eddie Nketiah revealed Arsenal were determined to win by “any means necessary” after battling to a 2-0 triumph away at Southampton.

The Gunners have endured a tough return to action following the suspension to the Premier League season, suffering contrasting defeats away at Manchester City and Brighton and Hove Albion since the resumption.

However, a trip to a sunny St Mary’s on the south coast helped brighten the mood for Arsenal, Nketiah and Joe Willock scoring the goals to secure Mikel Arteta his first away win in the league since taking charge.

“We were very focused. No one likes losing, especially us,” Nketiah told Sky Sports. 

“We’ve been working so hard during the quarantine and since we’ve come back to playing, we needed to reward ourselves with three points.

“We were determined to make sure we got them by any means necessary.”

The forward, who started ahead of Alexandre Lacazette, added: “I think we have been unfortunate in the first game and then especially the last one, results didn’t go our way. 

“We knew that we had to roll our sleeves up and fight for the three points. Hopefully we can build on this and keep on pushing forwards.”

Nketiah capitalised on an error from Alex McCarthy to give Arsenal the lead, blocking the Southampton goalkeeper’s attempted pass before tapping the ball into the net.

The 21-year-old admitted he had sensed the opportunity to put pressure on McCarthy, leading to him being rewarded for a willingness to work hard for the cause.

“For me personally I like to give my all for the team,” he said.

“With something like that, I can just smell a bit of uncertainty from the goalkeeper. I’ve done that about 100 times, so it’s nice that one of them leads to a goal. 

“I always try to be a nuisance. The team all worked hard together and were unlucky not to score a few more.”