Declan Rice hailed Arsenal's Premier League title credentials following their determined 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace on Monday night. Despite being reduced to ten men due to Takehiro Tomiyasu's red card, the Gunners showed their mettle by holding off Crystal Palace's attacks during the final 23 minutes at Selhurst Park.
The turning point of the match came in the 53rd minute when Martin Odegaard converted a penalty, securing Arsenal's second consecutive victory at the beginning of the season. Rice, while reflecting on the match , acknowledged the challenges posed by the youthful and athletic Crystal Palace side.
Rice stated, "When you're on that pitch and you look up at the clock and you've got 20 minutes to go against this young and athletic Crystal Palace side, you know it's going to be tough. But these are the places you've got to come if you want to win Premier Leagues and be up there at the end of the season. These are the places you've got to come to show character and grind out the three points. I thought we thoroughly deserved it in the end."
Despite the victory, Rice maintained a measured perspective on Arsenal's title prospects. He acknowledged that it's still early in the season and stressed the significance of taking each game as it comes to build momentum. He recognized the tough challenges awaiting the team after September and expressed readiness to face them head-on.
Discussing his move to Arsenal from West Ham, Rice shared, "Last year there was big pressure on Arsenal to win the Premier League and that's why I signed. I believe in the vision, I believe in the manager, I believe in the team, how young and hungry we all are." He acknowledged the strength of Manchester City but expressed enthusiasm for the challenge ahead.
Rice also opened up about his approach to matches, revealing, "I was on the way to the game tonight and I just thought, ‘Go out there and have it tonight, just go out there and try to put on a show.’" He expressed his determination to prove his worth, not letting the price tag define his performance. He emphasized staying grounded, seeking guidance from those around him, and continuing to push himself to excel.