For the second consecutive Premier League game, Unai Emery’s Arsenal overcame a first half injury setback to record a clean sheet with a rejigged defence.
Last weekend, Rob Holding had to replace Sokratis on the way to a 2-0 win over Everton. Today, Bernd Leno took over from Petr Cech in goal before the Gunners saw off Watford by the same scoreline.
After the game, Holding, who put in a very solid performance at centre-back, reflected on a hard-fought three points and how squad confidence is growing with each victory.
Speaking to Arsenal.com, he said: “It was a really competitive and physical game and we knew that coming in, we just had to stand up to the battle and late on I think they tired and we managed to get a few passes together and score the goals.
“They look to play off the second balls and work hard to get hold of them, so we just had to match them physically and we had the ability to pick them apart and score some goals.
“He [Emery] said when he came in that he wanted to bring a winning mentality and I think you get that from wins and you go into each game confident. We’re physically fit and we know that we can go and get the result.”
The 23-year-old also had warm words for Leno after he impressed on his Premier League debut.
The German, a 44th-minute substitute, made important stops to deny Troy Deeney and Andre Grey with the scores level before a Craig Cathcart own goal and Mesut Ozil’s close-range strike lifted the Emirates crowd.
“We got one [a clean sheet] last time out in the Premier League so it’s nice to get another and keep that run going,” said Holding.
“We knew that with Bernd coming in that he’s got the quality. We saw it in the Europa League and the Carabao cup games that he’s good with his feet and players the style that we want to play.”
Holding and Leno will likely get more game time on Thursday when the Gunners go in search of their eighth consecutive win in Azerbaijan against Europa League opponents Qarabag.