Kieran Tierney has insisted to Mikel Arteta that he is ready to start Arsenal ’s key match against Chelsea this weekend after scoring the winner against Zurich.
Tierney produced a lovely finish from the edge of the penalty area to put the Gunners 1-0 up early in the first half and the strike turned out to be crucial on an edgy night at the Emirates Stadium. Eddie Nketiah, Gabriel Jesus and Fabio Vieira could not take their chances to leave the match open to a nervy finish.
Arsenal withstood the pressure from Zurich to win 1-0, secure top spot in Group A and qualify automatically for the last-16 of the Europa League. They will now turn their attention to Sunday’s trip to Stamford Bridge to take on Chelsea in a huge Premier League game.
Tierney has started just three league matches all season, with Oleksandr Zinchenko and Takehiro Tomiyasu often preferred by Mikel Arteta. But after his man of the match performance against Zurich, the Scotland international is desperate to nail down a starting place.
“I want to play every single chance I can get,” he told BT Sport. “But I’m going to keep working hard. The manager knows I’ll give 100 percent every single day, whether I’m starting or not – I’ll support the team from the bench. If I need to come on, or if I start, I’ll give everything.”
While opportunities in the league have been limited, Tierney has started all six of Arsenal’s Europa League games. Arteta was delighted with his impact and praised the 25-year-old for his attitude while he’s been on the bench over the past few months.
“I think he was really good,” Arteta said post-match. “Kieran is showing a lot of maturity. He has respected a lot of decisions that we have taken. He’s played a lot of minutes as well.
“He’s done really well. Today he scored a great goal that has helped us win the game – and that’s what we demand of the players, that they’re ready when the team needs them to make a difference.” (Mirror)