Date: 28th April 2017 at 9:39am
Written by:

Manager Arsene Wenger has said that he felt Arsenal’s initiative in the midweek clash against Leicester City was ultimately rewarded as we took all three points.

Hosting the reigning champions at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday evening, a Robert Huth 85th minute own goal gave us all three points and the victory and Wenger was pretty honest about what he felt was a leggy and slow performance on the day, but being tight at the back and continuing to plug away at them left him praising a deserved win.

Speaking to the Official Site as he met with the media post game, the gaffer explained.

‘We took the initiative, we lacked a little bit of change of pace and penetration – you could see we had a few heavy legs. But you could see we were serious and didn`t give chances away. Maybe we lacked a little bit of speed in our game to get them out of position – but they defend well and are very difficult to get out of position. In the end, I think the win rewards the team who took the initiative in the game. Overall, we are very happy with that because we knew the three points would be very difficult tonight. Let`s not forget as well that we played on Sunday afternoon and Leicester did not play at all at the weekend. They had good preparation for the game and we knew we had a little handicap on that front.’

For what the three points meant for the top four battle, Wenger knew it was certainly helpful but ultimately we know what we need to do to get that Champions League place for next season.

‘We have one advantage, and that is of clarity. We have to win our games, so that is why we know we cannot be happy with a 0-0 – we have to take a gamble to try to win the game at any cost.’

Ending the game with a normal back four, Wenger went on to say.

‘I finished with four at the back because when I took Gibbs off we moved to a four. We finished with four strikers: Welbeck, Giroud, Alexis and Ozil, plus we also had Ramsey who is quite offensive. We finished with four at the back because we absolutely had to win the game.’

With Tottenham Hotspur up next, Wenger was obviously asked if the aim was to end their title hopes.

‘We play for ourselves, not others. In life, you work for your own achievements, not for others. What is important is that we go there, try to win the game and focus on our own performance. We do not want to go into any speculation on that. Sport is great but you`re never happy when others do badly and you do badly. You`re happy when you do well.’

With it being the third game where Arsenal having been their usual free flowing selves and really needing to dig in to take victory, Wenger was pleased with the turn in confidence, form and the focus the side are showing.

‘Every win gives you a little plus. And on that front, plus plus, plus plus, will help us to go into the next game really focused and with a great desire to win at Tottenham. Against Leicester we took the initiative the whole game and we played against a team who defended very well and very deep and didn`t give us any space. They are difficult to destabilise and to get out of position.’


‘Overall we needed to be patient and not become too nervous. In the end we took all the risks, all the gambles – and it paid off. So I am very happy, because the hunger was there, the desire was there, the discipline was there, just what we missed a little bit was the zip in the change of pace and the penetration a little bit. That`s maybe why we suffered a little bit and couldn`t kill the game off.’

Arsenal Blogger
Join The Vital Debate