Interview

'This group is very healthy, very strong'

For 45 minutes of our Easter Sunday fixture against Stoke City, we looked off the pace - but a tweak at half time saw us go on to win 3-0 after a dominant second-half display.

So what did Arsene Wenger change at the interval? This is what he told Arsenal Media afterwards:
 
on a satisfactory second half…
Yes, as much as the first-half performance was disappointing, the second half was convincing. We played with drive, pace, better quality, and in the first half we were a bit static against a good Stoke City side. As much as I felt we could have lost this game in the first half, in the second I always felt we would win it. In the end we won in a convincing way.

on whether he tweaked anything at half-time…
Yes. Personally, I felt it was not so much about football, more mental. We broke up two weeks ago, came back, switched off, we’ve got a big [Europa League] game, not a lot to go for in the Premier League in some people’s minds. Football does not stop and go, it’s about keeping continuity in your performances. The players realise that. I think that this group of players is very healthy, very strong, has got solidarity and responded very well in the second half.

on Aubameyang’s form…
He had two great ingredients today. First of all he scored two goals, and secondly he gave the penalty to Lacazette. That’s great.

on him handing over his hat-trick opportunity to Lacazette…
People are surprised when you’re generous. It should be normal. That’s what I find great, that it will only help the team to make us stronger.

on him being the first one to celebrate with him after…
We have a great spirit in the team. If we didn’t have a great spirit and a great strength, we would not have recovered from the League Cup final. Let’s go from there and continue to win.