Theo Walcott was delighted to make a decisive contribution as Arsenal secured a vital 1-1 draw at Manchester United in the Premier League.
Ander Herrera gave United a 30th-minute lead as Arsenal failed to register a single shot on goal during the first half at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Arsenal improved significantly as the second half wore on and Walcott drilled goalwards in the 82nd minute – his angled strike taking a deflection off fellow substitute Tyler Blackett to nestle in the back of the net.
Such moments have been few and far between for Walcott, who has been on the periphery for Arsenal since his return from a serious knee injury, and he is determined to claim a goal that is likely to go down as a Blackett own-goal.
“I’ve been very patient coming back from injury, it always takes time when you come back,” he told Sky Sports.
“I feel like I’m getting ready in training and I just need more match minutes really.
“As a substitute you need to be positive, you need to be focused as well because you may get a chance and when you do you’ve got to take it.
“It’s a great result for us and I’m happy with the goal.
“You’ve got to take everyone you can – it’s an important goal and I’ll definitely claim that one.”
The result brought Arsenal to within touching distance of a top-three finish and automatic qualification for the UEFA Champions League at United’s expense.
Victory over Sunderland in their midweek game in hand will secure this before the final weekend, while one more point is likely to be enough for Arsenal by virtue of their superior goal different.
Walcott added: “At times, in patches we didn’t play great. But you could see in the last 20 minutes that we were strong.
“We showed how fit we are as a team. We’ve got a game in hand on United now and it was a crucial point – knowing that we need only one more point [to finish in the top three] really because of the goal difference.
“It’s going to hurt them – it feels like a win for us.”
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