Arsenal fought back from two goals down against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, with Declan Rice’s goal the catalyst for the comeback.
When Arsenal signed Declan Rice from West Ham, he was seen as the midfielder the club desperately needed. Through the first nine games of the league season, he has proven to be worth every penny.
Not known for his goal-scoring ability, Rice has already found the back of the net twice this season, which includes his superb curling effort against Chelsea.
After keeper Robert Sanchez’s misplaced pass found its way to Rice, the England international hit his shot first time to kickstart Arsenal’s comeback.
But what did he think of his effort at Stamford Bridge?
"“In a player’s mind, you get a split second to make a decision,” Rice said via arsenal.com. “It’s the quickest thing that you have to do; you’ve got to think whether you pass the ball, Leo was free in front of me, or you go for goal yourself. I’ve just watched it back, it was a great finish so I was happy with that.”"
Rice’s goal in the 77th minute was just what Arsenal needed as they chased the game.
After a Cole Palmer penalty and then a Mykhailo Mudryk cross or shot or whatever that was found its way past David Raya, the Gunners needed a way back into the contest – something Rice was able to give.
But coming from behind isn’t ideal, but Rice says the mentality never to give up is engrained in the squad.
"“[Being 2-0 down] is tough, it’s really tough,” Rice said. “I think you always want to go into games thinking that you’ll get three points, but from the way we came back from 2-0 down away from home, the Chelsea fans and players were really up for it, we showed that fight and character.“Even though we didn’t win, there are positives to be taken there. The mentality is there, the belief is there that we don’t want to get beaten, and being the best that we can.”"
Rice is right, the belief that this Arsenal team has will help them navigate the numerous challenges that the season will present.
Still unbeaten after the 2-2 draw against Chelsea, Arteta would have to be happy with his team’s position after nine games.
Still yet to really “click” this season, the fact that Arsenal are joint-second means that when things do start to come together, the Gunners could prove difficult to stop.
Up next for the Gunners is an away Champions League clash against Sevilla midweek.