Captain praises team spirit while Martin Olsson believes similar showings will see them comfortably escape relegation from the Premier League this season
The draw marks Blackburn’s very first league point against Arsenal at the Emirates, a result that was no fluke as Rovers looked to stifle the Gunners’ midfield with the trio of Phil Jones, Jermaine Jones and Stephen N’Zonzi.
It was all going so well until about the 75th minute when N’Zonzi was given a straight red card after a potentially dangerous two-footed lunge on Laurent Koscielny as the Arsenal defender looked to clear his lines.Blackburn captain Chris Samba, believed that although the sending off was a moment he rather hadn’t have happened, it made them pull together as a team, and that the key to the point was sticking to the game plan.
Speaking to the ESPN cameras, Samba said: “It was very tough after N’Zonzi’s red card.
"We showed great spirit at the end when Stephen got sent off.
“We stayed together and communicated a lot and today we showed we want to stay in the league.
“We followed the gameplan and, you play Arsenal you need to press them because you know they were going to have the ball more than you, but you don’t let them do what they do because they have great players, great abilities.
“We tried to stay tight to them and to take them on the counter attack or set pieces.”
During the match, it was obvious how desperate the Blackburn players were not to lose, especially in the dying embers of the match, as was characterised by Martin Olsson’s inspired block from a Marouane Chamakh shot as the Swede dived in front of the Moroccan’s shot to prevent a certain goal.
Olsson said: “I didn’t know what I was doing.
"I just jumped in the way, tried to protect the goal and it’s just good it didn’t go in and I’m happy with the point.”
The Sweden international was also confident the side will stay in the Premier League next season, believing that this point will only strengthen the bond the players have.
He continued: “We always had good spirit in the team and think we should today the commitment in the team and if we go on and play like this I think we can pick up some more points and stay safe.”
Olsson’s captain shared the Swede’s enthusiasm as Samba believes it’s all down to them now, a situation he feels is a good one.
He said: “Sometimes you get a couple of decisions that go against you and sometimes a couple of surprises like today, but I’m confident we can get some more points.
“Our next match is at home and it’s all in our hands so it is really encouraging for the next game and we’re ready for some more performances like this and we’ll be fine.”