Belfast Telegraph

Sports Awards

Deeney pays penalty for giving Gunners their extra motivation

Arsenal 3-0 Watford

By Jonathan Veal

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger admits Troy Deeney's "cojones" comment gave his side extra motivation to beat Watford and return to winning ways in the Premier League.

Goals from Shkodran Mustafi, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan ensured the Gunners stopped a three-game losing streak in the league in a 3-0 victory and also made Deeney eat his words.

In the wake of Watford's win over Arsenal in October's reverse fixture, Deeney suggested that the Gunners lacked a "bit of cojones, a bit of nuts", but it was the Hornets striker who had a difficult afternoon this time around as he had a second half penalty saved by Petr Cech in a comprehensive defeat.

The Gunners were reminded of his comments before the game and Wenger says they were a factor.

"You cannot be a footballer without pride," he said. "All these things come in, for how much I don't know, but of course it plays a part.

"I wanted to absolutely win this game, it was difficult, but it gets us out of the negative spirit we were in.

"We need more games, we had a nightmare week, overall there is some work still to do.

"I focus on my job. I have shown in 22 years that I can do that and that I respect everybody's opinion but I focus on my job with total commitment."

Watford boss Javi Gracia refused to contemplate whether Deeney (left, with Cech) regretted his comments.

"Troy before the match was concentrating on playing well, to help the team," Gracia said.

"He had the chance to score the penalty, he didn't do it. I am disappointed because I can't believe that we didn't score a goal."

ARSENAL: Cech, Maitland-Niles, Mustafi (Chambers, 73 mins), Holding, Kolasinac, Elneny, Xhaka, Mkhitaryan (Wilshere, 78 mins), Ozil, Iwobi (Welbeck, 67 mins), Aubameyang. Unused subs: Ospina, Nelson, Nketiah, Willock.

WATFORD: Karnezis, Janmaat (Britos, 80 mins), Prdol, Mariappa, Holebas, Femenia (Hughes, 63 mins), Doucoure, Capoue, Pereyra (Okaka, 67 mins), Richarlison, Deeney. Unused subs: Sinclair, Gray, Carrillo, Bachmann.

Referee: Martin Atkinson

Man of the match: Mohamed Elneny

Match rating: 7/10

Belfast Telegraph

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.


From Belfast Telegraph