Arsenal wanted to prove Watford's Troy Deeney wrong - Rob Holding

Arsene Wenger's message to Troy Deeney (1:09)

Arsene Wenger is asked about Troy Deeney's missed penalty after the Watford striker caused a stir among Arsenal supporters with his comments made during the reverse fixture earlier in the season. (1:09)

Arsenal centre-back Rob Holding says the Gunners were determined to prove Troy Deeney wrong in their 3-0 win over Watford, and that the striker's disparaging comments were "definitely in the back of our minds."

Arsenal avenged a 2-1 defeat at Watford in October, after which Deeney had said Arsenal's players lacked "cojones" and weren't "up for it."

Deeney had to eat those words after missing a penalty on Sunday that would have given Watford hope at 2-0, and Holding admitted that the Hornets striker's taunts had given the Gunners extra motivation going into the game.

"It was definitely in the back of our minds," Holding told the Arsenal website. "We don't like coming off the pitch and someone saying that about us. We want to show our fight.

"I think with a clean sheet, they didn't have a sniff apart from with the penalty. We just wanted to prove them wrong and prove to our fans we're still fighting and we believe."

It was Arsenal's second straight win following the 2-0 victory over AC Milan in the Europa League's round of 16, and also handed Petr Cech his 200th Premier League clean sheet.

"I'm buzzing for Petr to get over that milestone. It's been hanging over his head for a while and it was a great penalty save from him. It was everything we wanted, really," Holding said.