"We had seen Watford play earlier and get beat. We knew we had to get a win to even catch them up," Smith told BBC Sport. "By getting the win it puts our fate in our own hands.
"There was a lot of character and a lot of courage from the players. It was a massive performance and I am proud of the players for that but now we have to recover and get ready for our cup final.
"We're working hard to maintain our status and the last three results have shown that."
"The quicker we do it the better because the player will be more focused, more determined and more calm," said Arteta on the eve of this game when asked if Aubameyang, whose current deal expires next summer, will sign a new contract.
"I don't think the league table lies at all," conceded Arteta. "You can see the gap and the difference in points with the other teams. It's where we are. That's the reality."