Arsene Wenger conceded that Preston provided Arsenal with a tought test in the first half, before their “fighting spirit” shone through.
Arsenal started the game in a very sluggish manner at Deepdale and went behind early to a Callum Robinson striker. However, the Gunners responded well in the second half and overturned the deficit with a late winner from captain on the night Oliver Giroud.
“Someone reminded me yesterday that I have never been out in the third round in 21 years, but tonight, in the first half, it was close,” Wenger told BT Sport.
“Preston played with enthusiasm and quality in the first half, they were quicker than us all over.
“Maybe subconsciously we thought that it would be easier and at half-time we knew we could have been out.
“I believe that we have a togetherness and fighting spirit and that is why we have these comebacks.
“It was a typical Cup tie with English enthusiasm and the crowd cheering on their team.”