Date: 11th May 2017 at 8:23pm
Written by:

Manager Arsene Wenger has praised a resolute performance from Arsenal in Wednesday evening’s victory over Southampton.

Making the trip to St Mary’s Stadium for the game, the hosts certainly made a tight game of it with both sides sharing only seven attempts on target across the 90 but Alexis Sanchez made the breakthrough on the hour mark before Olivier Giroud tied the victory up in the 83rd minute to give us a two nil victory.

Speaking to the Official Site in his post game press conference Wenger praised the mental strength of the side as we lifted ourselves into fifth place in the table.

‘We needed to work very hard because Southampton were up for it, the pace of the game was very high and we needed to be organised, patient, focused and very strong in our minds. I felt we did that very well. We suffered a little bit in the first half but in the second half I felt we controlled the game very well and created chances on the break. Overall, I must congratulate the players because they have produced a great performance.’

With Arsenal winning all but one of the six matches since making the switch to the 343 formation, we’re also on a run of three clean sheets in our last four and Wenger was obviously delighted with that turn in consistency given struggles earlier in the campaign.

‘I am very pleased because for a while we conceded too many away goals, but recently we`ve tightened up our defence. That`s very good for the confidence of the team. I will certainly need to look at making some changes, but let`s not look at that now. Let`s look at how everybody recovers because we play Saturday, Tuesday again. The only thing we can do is to give everything in every single game.’

Focusing more in on recent improvements and with two wins in 76 hours putting us to within three points of the top four and Champions League qualification, Wenger went on to say that it was vital we won again.

‘We had to, because the play started at a strong pace and the first half was quite even but we were focused, determined, maintained the pace and in the second half we found space to create chances and finish the game off, I believe overall, in a convincing way. Yes, I felt that you should look at the performances. You couldn`t be disappointed from the goalkeeper to Danny Welbeck, everybody played well.’

Asked about the pressure during this recent period Wenger said that hadn’t figured overly but potentially any pressure felt was motivational.

‘I don`t know. But we know that we can only win our games and we had a strong performance on Sunday, we had a strong performance today. So let`s just continue. Experience can help, but I believe that for us it`s a big point to maintain the focus and the intensity in every single game because we play Saturday again at Stoke. We need to have a strong performance there. We came to a difficult ground today and we go to another difficult ground on Saturday.’

As for Alexis’ goal in the game, Wenger had particular praise for him.

‘I think the goal that he has scored tonight showed what he is about. Very good technique in a short space, he scores important goals. And with very short technique he has invention in his head. He`s creative because he`s not fazed by anything and he`s surprised everybody in the stadium tonight by what he did. They expected him to take a shot and he is very quick, so overall he has done extremely well. I would say as well, Giroud came on and again the second goal was a very important goal for us tonight.’

Wenger ended by saying.

‘I believe that I never questioned the character of my side. It`s not because you lose games that people expect you to win that you have no character. But it happened to us. We went through a bad patch, I believe that`s a good opportunity to show your character, how you come back and how you recover. Maybe the Man City game gave us confidence a little bit. Let`s not go too quickly to conclusions and focus and give everything on Saturday.’

Arsenal Blogger
Join The Vital Debate