Date: 6th August 2017 at 6:49pm
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Manager Arsene Wenger has praised the Arsenal side for not panicking and keeping their control of the game against Chelsea earlier today.

With the scores tied one all at full time thanks to Sead Kolasinac’s leveller late on in the second half of the game, the game went into the new ABBA system of penalties and after Thibaut Courtois blazed his effort over the bar, Alvaro Morata dragged his effort wide leaving us clear to take the game.

Speaking to the Official Site as he met with the media following the game, a delighted Wenger explained.

‘I`m very happy because we won the trophy. The quality of the game was very good and the two teams gave absolutely everything. The two teams played with a lot of intensity and quality. Even when we were 1-0 down, we didn`t panic and kept control of our game to come back. Overall, the performance is a continuity of what we did at the end of last season.’

Asked whether lifting the Community Shield would set the tone for the coming Premier League campaign, Wenger went on to say.

‘It`s an encouragement and nothing more than that. We want to find a good balance between the confidence we can get out of these games and the urgency that every Premier League game demands. We had some bad starts in the first game of the Premier League over the last four years but we`ve had the intensity in our games that is needed to be ready. Let`s go into the Premier League with the same discipline, the same spirit, and see where we can go. If you look at the Premier League, there`s seven or eight teams who you can say can win the Premier League, so it makes it very interesting.’

With the performance seeing Arsenal dig in to come from behind following Victor Moses’ opener.

‘It is an interesting quality, but you know as well that the problem for the managers is to maintain that kind of spirit through the season, through difficult periods and to maintain that togetherness as well. You will have some individual disappointments through the season and it`s important that we focus on keeping together in every single game. The Premier League is very unpredictable because every game is a fight and as soon as you are a bit off you don`t win.’

Wenger also felt that the ‘negative atmosphere’ had gone and he held his hands up for that last season.

‘Yes, it`s down to us to keep a positive atmosphere around the team. I think a lot was created by my own situation and maybe I made a mistake, but overall I believe that it`s down to us – the strength always comes from the team.’

With Kolasinac getting the leveller, he also came in for praise following his performance.

‘He came on well. He`s normally a wing-back or a full-back but he can also play at centre back. He had a very interesting performance last week and I had a hesitation over playing him from the start today. I thought maybe the pressure of Wembley – but when he came on, he was outstanding.’

Wenger also felt his power would see him quickly adapt to the English game.

‘I would say yes. He is physically very strong naturally. There are players who are pumped up in the gym and players who are born strong. He is the second part. In the Premier League, power plays a part, but it`s not only that. We took him as well because of his attitude. I believe that the modern game doesn`t tolerate as many weaknesses as it did 20 years ago and you always need a combination of talent and attitude. He looks to me that he has good talent, but as well a very strong and determined attitude, supported by a strong body.’

With Alexandre Lacazette making his competitive debut in the game, Wenger went on to say.

‘Lacazette is getting stronger every week and I believe today it`s the first time that you`ve seen that physically. He still needs to adapt to the intensity of the game, but overall in the first half he had very interesting movements and I believe that from what we see today, he will become stronger and stronger and he had a very interesting game.’

Discussing the wider game, with the head injury sustained by Per Mertesacker in the first half, Wenger confirmed that although it was a nasty gash, it wasn’t serious.

‘He had a cut on his forehead. It`s nothing bad. It was just bleeding and open, but it`s not bad.’

With Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey missing out, he added.

‘I left them all out because some are short of preparation like Alexis. Mesut got a kick on his ankle and it`s swollen so he couldn`t play. He couldn`t practise yesterday. We`ll see but he has a little chance of playing on Friday night. Aaron Ramsey has a chance of playing but I think he could be short as well with a small calf problem.’

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