LONDON -- Aaron Ramsey says he had to react instinctively when he scored Arsenal's opening goal with a backheel flick in Saturday's 2-2 draw at Tottenham Hotspur.
Ramsey has been criticised for his performances lately as Arsenal have struggled, but he responded by putting the Gunners ahead against the run of play in the 39th minute of the crucial North London derby at White Hart Lane.
Right-back Hector Bellerin fed Ramsey with a pass inside the area that was slightly behind the midfielder, but the Welshman reached out with his right leg to flick the ball beyond Hugo Lloris in the Tottenham goal.
"I anticipated Hector maybe pulling his shot a bit and thankfully it fell to me, and it was one of those ones that you just react to quickly and I was glad to see it go in," Ramsey said.
Arsenal then had to fight back for the draw after Francis Coquelin got himself sent off with a second booking and Tottenham responded with goals from Toby Alderweireld and Harry Kane to go ahead.
While the draw leaves Arsenal three points behind North London rivals Spurs and at least five behind leaders Leicester, Ramsey said it was crucial to avoid a third straight league loss in the Gunners' stuttering title bid.
"It was important after back-to-back defeats to come here and try to get a result," Ramsey said. "I thought in the first half we did well, but they came out in the second half and got the two goals in quick succession.
"We were under the cosh a bit but we carried on and got the equaliser. It is always difficult [to play with 10 men], especially against a top team like them, but we did show great character to come back from 2-1 down."