Scott Dann admitted he was playing through the pain barrier for the majority of Crystal Palace’s 1-1 draw with Arsenal yesterday, but his resilience helped his side claim a maiden point at the Emirates Stadium.
The Palace centre-back went down on 39 minutes after sustaining a foot injury following a challenge by the Gunners’ Gabriel, but after some treatment he made it through the remainder of the game with he and Damien Delaney putting in fine shifts at the heart of the backline.
There were doubts that Dann could potentially miss the FA Cup semi-final against Watford on Sunday, however he played down those fears post-match, saying: “I think I just need to rest up, it was heavy whack and I struggled to move around the pitch how I would have liked from then on but we needed to dig in and stick together.
“We’ve got a big week coming up so we just need to rest up, there’s a few people with knocks but we’ve got to go to Manchester United on Wednesday and hopefully we can get a good result.”
Yannick Bolasie’s 81st minute strike cancelled out Alexis Sanchez’s first half stoppage time opener for Arsenal, but a resolute display from Palace saw them claw their way back into the game and pick up what Dann felt was a fair result.
“I think we deserved a point in terms of the way we defended and we kept going,” he said. “We knew it was going to be tough but to lose a goal right at the end of the first half was tough to take but we dug in and I think we got our rewards for defending that way in the end.
“They had a lot of the ball, possibly more than we would have liked, but when it’s still at 1-0 you have a chance of getting something out of the game and fortunately we have players like Yannick who can pop up and do something like that.
“In the first half we maybe lacked a bit energy as we had a game on Wednesday night as it was pretty much the same team, so they were on top but we kept it at 1-0. We defended really well and when Wayne was called upon he made some good saves.
“You’d like to think 39 points was enough [to stay up] but the way we’ve picked up recently we want to put some more on the board and try and catch the teams above us, and that’s what we’re aiming to do on Wednesday night.”
Dann’s defensive partner Delaney was handed the man of the match award post-match, and he added: “Our momentum is great but with the results on Saturday, we thought we were clear of it but then everyone goes and picks up a win so we were a little bit worried, so hopefully that point puts it to bed, especially with our goal difference as well.
“Now we can have a nice week in the run up to the FA Cup semi-final. Obviously we’ve got Manchester United on Wednesday but the most important thing for us was the league and we could focus on everything else after that.”