Theo Walcott felt Arsenal’s experience was key to a dominant 3-0 win over Chelsea but he was unwilling to herald it as a watershed moment for Arsene Wenger’s side.
Walcott marked his 350th Arsenal appearance with a goal, crowning a sumptuous team move after Alexis Sanchez capitalised on an error from Gary Cahill to break the deadlock.
Mesut Ozil concluded the scoring five minutes before half-time and Walcott, a veteran of numerous false dawns in his club’s bid for a first Premier League crown since 2003-04, wants his team-mates to build on this impressive showing.
“We’ve been here before, I’ve had so much experience down the years, but we’re not doing ourselves any harm,” he told BT Sport after Arsenal’s first league win against Chelsea since October 2011.
“We worked really hard in the week. We obviously know what’s happened in the past but it’s all about now.
“This team is bright and young and has a lot more experience in these games now.
“Everyone is focused and you could see that – 11 men who wanted to win this more than the other team.”
Watching on when Arsenal battled to a 1-1 Champions League draw at Paris Saint-Germain earlier this month, Walcott recognised an impressive determination among his colleagues.
And he praised their composure amid the pressure of a London derby after red cards undid Wenger’s men in both matches against Chelsea last term.
“Watching the PSG game on the side, I didn’t travel, you could sense in that game it was tough and we got through it,” he explained.
“The experience and the years in the Champions League is bedding into his team, now
“The most important thing was that we kept 11 men on the pitch, we know our history with Chelsea.
“The two centre-backs were fantastic and kept [Diego] Costa quiet.”