Ainsley Maitland-Niles says having a positive attitude was key to Arsenal’s win against Chelsea as Mikel Arteta’s players bounced back from going behind early to seal the FA Cup with a 2-1 win.
It didn’t augur well when Christian Pulisic fired the Blues into an early lead but the Gunners slowly worked their way back into the game and got back on level terms before the break via a penalty, won and scored by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The club captain then delivered a knockout blow with just over 20 minutes remaining, deftly beating Willy Caballero with a dinked finish.
Matteo Kovacic’s red card with 17 minutes remaining helped Arsenal’s cause, as Maitland-Niles and his teammates survived a lengthy period of stoppage time to make it 14 wins in the competition.
After the game, the wing-back was understandably delighted to get his hands on the trophy.
“It’s the first time of grabbing it myself and it’s a fantastic feeling, it’s indescribable really,” he told Arsenal.com.
“I’m proud of every one of my teammates and staff members for putting the plan into motion and we executed it perfectly.”
On the performance, he added: “That’s what we’ve been working on since lockdown, having a positive attitude, always wanting to win games even when we do go down, and playing our football no matter what happens.
“It prevailed today and it was fantastic to see the boys turn that around and really go all out attack to win the game for us.
“I love it over there [playing wing-back]. When I’m on the pitch I thrive when I get more minutes and no matter where I’m playing, I’m just happy to do a job for the team and bring him one of these at the end of the day, so it’s fantastic.”