Aston Villa 1-0 Arsenal: The key quotes from Dean Smith's post-match press confernece
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 06: Dean Smith, Manager of Aston Villa and Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal interact after the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Arsenal at Villa Park on February 06, 2021 in Birmingham, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

An early Ollie Watkins goal saw Villa beat Arsenal 1-0 at Villa Park, completing a league double over the Gunners for the first time since 1992. 

Dean Smith was full of praise for his side and their reaction to losing their last game against West Ham:

"A deserved victory"

“I felt it was a good, solid performance. A deserved victory. They had the share of possession but Emi dealt with their efforts well. We troubled their keeper more with our chances”.

No fatigue within the squad

Despite lacking energy against West Ham, Smith insisted his side aren't at all fatigued and responded well today against Arsenal:

“The players showed me today they weren’t fatigued today, mentally or physically”.

"Selfless" Watkins

Smith was full of praise for Ollie Watkins, who scored his tenth goal in the Premier League this afternoon:

“Every week we’re speaking well of Ollie's performances. He’s selfless in his play, he’s a good teammate and footballer too.

I knew he was Premier League ready”.

The importance of a squad

Marvelous Nakamba and Bertrand Traore started in place of Anwar El Ghazi and Douglas Luiz, Smith was keen to praise his squad and how important players are who may be waiting in the wings:

“I haven't changed the team too much this season, Marvelous has come into the game and we've kept three clean sheets. I know we have players on the bench who’re eager to come in and impress, using the squad is important".

The win has seen Villa climb up the table to 8th, with a trip to Brighton on the horizon for Smith's men next week. Villa now has a good gap between fixtures for the first time since early December.