Gunners welcome clean sheet
Walcott and Ramsey believe Arsenal will see off Udinese
By Chris Burton. Last Updated: August 17, 2011 8:08am
Aaron Ramsey and Theo Walcott were quick to hail the importance of keeping a clean sheet in Arsenal's 1-0 victory over Udinese.
The Gunners edged ahead of their Italian rivals on Tuesday in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League play-off.
With a place in the group stages of Europe's premier club competition up for grabs, it was imperative that Arsene Wenger's men picked up a positive result on home soil.
In the end, an early effort from Walcott proved to be the difference between the two sides at Emirates Stadium and they will take a narrow lead with them into the return meeting.
"The most important thing was the clean sheet," Walcott told Sky Sports.
"Our defence was solid again, like at the weekend (against Newcastle), and it's nice to get the goal.
"They are a very strong team and we will find it difficult over there but I believe, if we play the same kind of football, we can get a result."
Walcott was delighted to open his goal account for the season and believes there will be more to come from him over the coming weeks.
He added: "That's where I want to be this season, I want to get more goals. Maybe the boss will play me up front, who knows.
"I'm still coming back from my injury. Their goalkeeper has made an absolutely fantastic save, and before that I rushed a bit when trying to chip the keeper, but that will come. It's early days, it's my first 90 minutes and I'm very happy with the result."
Welsh midfielder Ramsey, who provided the cross for Walcott's fourth minute winner, was also pleased to have picked up a vital victory ahead of what promises to be a tough test in Italy next Wednesday.
He said: "It was important to keep a clean sheet tonight.
"They were good opposition and it was a difficult test for us, but we have come through it and we have scored a goal. But it is far from over yet, we have still got another game to go and hopefully we can finish the job off out there.
"We dropped off a bit in the second half and there were gaps appearing, but we did well. We dug in and gave absolutely everything tonight.
"We have done well to keep another clean sheet, that's two in two games, so hopefully now we can continue that. We believe we are capable of going over there and getting a win."
Tuesday's fixture was also Arsenal's first without Cesc Fabregas, following his move to Barcelona, but Ramsey insists the players have already come to terms with the departure of their former skipper.
He said: "We just have to carry on. It's time to move on now. He was a great player for the club but now he's gone and we are just going to have to concentrate now on what we have got here.
"We believe or squad is very talented and we believe we can achieve something this season."