Date: 12th September 2016 at 6:17pm
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Manager Arsene Wenger has admitted there was a sense of relief at the full time whistle in the victory over Southampton at the Emirates Stadium.

Having fell a goal behind with Petr Cech’s unfortunate own goal on the day, Laurent Koscielny got us back on level terms, with a late stoppage time winner coming from Santi Cazorla and the penalty spot.

Speaking to the Official Site in his post game press conference, Wenger spoke of the feeling of relief, but mainly because ‘we threw everything forward’ and he felt we had warranted the second goal in the match – and it was looking like it wouldn’t come.

‘Look, we had a little bit of a slow start and after 20 minutes we were 1-0 down, so we came back well into the game and we had a good response. In the second half I felt we dominated well again and created many dangerous situations but couldn`t score. Because we threw everything forward we were always a little bit under threat on the counter-attack of Southampton and in the end we got the penalty, so it`s a relief. When you lose your first home game, you cannot afford to drop points in the second home game because it creates a little bit of anxiety at home and that`s not what we really want.’

With the victory also being back to back wins following on from Watford, he admitted that would be a good boost of confidence for the players, so hopefully it’s two of many more to come.

‘It is a win after Watford, that is two wins together. If we can put a few wins together, of course that will help us to be more confident and to get to a very fluent level like we want to play.
on the penalty decision.’

With Koscielny making headlines for his goal, Wenger also revealed he was with the doctor having taken the blow to the face and he was swollen, so he’d have to see how he was.

‘Koscielny has a problem with his face. He’s with the doctor now. I haven`t spoken to him yet, but it is very swollen.’

With a number of debuts on the day, Shkodran Mustafi and Lucas Perez obviously featured in the questions.

‘I feel both are short of fitness a bit, they lack competition and their second half was much better than their first half. They were a bit surprised by the pace and the commitment of the Premier League but they will adapt to that. As well, they were a bit on their nerves in the first half. In the second it was much better.’

Adding.

‘He (Perez) has had one game in La Liga, and then he didn`t play many more because they knew he would go. Mustafi has only played one half since the start of the season with Valencia, so they are missing games.’

He was also asked if they’d feature in the Champions League.

‘I have to decide that. We will see how everyone is tomorrow morning. For Tuesday, we might just have Gibbs coming back, who was not in the squad today. It`s possible they are in the squad.’

With Koscielny’s goal, a secondary interview had Wenger heaping praise on him for his ‘special character’.

‘It was his birthday today, and what I liked as well, he made that at 1-0 down. Not when you have scored three or four already and that shows he is a special character. We kept going, we were not maybe at our best on fluency and the speed of our movement. But we had the desire and the character and we kept going and gave absolutely everything.’

Francis Coquelin also took praise.

‘He had a great second half, Francis today. I think we suffered a little bit in the first half, we adjusted our position in the second half and it was much better. From then on, Francis became stronger and stronger.’

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