Arsenal Football Club’s centre-back, Rob Holding said the Gunners were determined to prove Watford’s captain, Troy Deeney, wrong in their 3-0 win over the Hornets, and that the striker’s disparaging comments were “definitely in the back of our minds.”

Arsenal avenged a 2-1 defeat at Watford in October, after which Deeney had said Arsenal’s players lacked “cojones” and weren’t “up for it.”

Deeney was made to eat those words after goalkeeper, Petr Cech saved his penalty shot that would have given Watford hope at 2-0, and Holding admitted that the Hornets striker’s taunts had given the Gunners extra motivation going into the game.

“It was definitely in the back of our minds,” Holding told the Arsenal website after the match on Sunday. “We don’t like coming off the pitch and someone saying that about us. We want to show our fight.

“I think with a clean sheet, they didn’t have a sniff apart from with the penalty. We just wanted to prove them wrong and prove to our fans we’re still fighting and we believe.”

It was Arsenal’s second straight win following the 2-0 victory over AC Milan in the Europa League’s round of 16. The win also handed Cech his 200th Premier League clean sheet, making him the only goalkeeper to achieve this feat in the Premier league’s history.

“I’m buzzing for Petr to get over that milestone. It’s been hanging over his head for a while and it was a great penalty save from him. It was everything we wanted, really,” Holding said.

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