In what was a fantastic point for The Gunners, Arsene Wenger seemed very pleased with the resiliency of his club after a 1-1 draw with Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday.
Wenger Post-match: “We were resilient”
“I think for the first 20 minutes we were out-paced. PSG started out much stronger than we did,” Arsenal‘s bench boss admitted. He continued to explain how they turned things around:
“But we were resilient and we kept going. And we could feel that in the first half if we pushed a little bit more up front that we could score goals.”
To say Arsenal started slowly is an understatement. Most pundits correctly had Arsenal lucky to limp into halftime at only one-goal down. Several chances, most notably from Edison Cavani, could have easily had Arsenal two goals down, in a deep hole heading into the final 45 minutes.
“The second half we played much better. We had more possession and more patience in front of their box. Maybe they dropped a bit as well.”
Possession was a marked improvement in the second half with less sloppy passing in the midfield. The extra possession seemed to calm things down for the visitors which is a stark contrast to the first half. Santi Cazorla, who seems to be bullied more frequently by bigger sides, had a very bad first half. He gave the ball away cheaply and was muscled off in many cases. The second half seemed to have an improvement in retention, and Arsenal began carrying play for several long spells.
“We pushed very high and we were a bit vulnerable on the counterattack. But overall it was a good point for us.”
A decided moment came with the introduction of Olivier Giroud—who was jeered and booed upon introduction, which seemed a bit odd given his European performance in the summer. His presence pushed Alexis Sanchez into a more familiar and effective role, and conbined with Mesut Ozil, they were able to create.
The goal came after a smart pass from Ozil to Alex Iwobi in the box. A nice strike bounced back to Sanchez who neatly slotted into the corner after hitting the ball into the ground.
Indeed, the away goal and single point was fortunate for Arsenal who played almost well enough. But the real hero in this match was keeper David Ospina, who will certainly be giving Cavani nightmares for days to come.
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