Press conference

'Kolasinac gave us a lot and he pushed Alexis'

Arsene Wenger had a good look at what we produced in the first half against Cologne on Thursday - and promptly made some big changes.

On came Sead Kolasinac, we switched to a 4-2-3-1 and we started to tick. Goals from Kolasinac, Alexis and Hector Bellerin did the rest.

Here’s what the boss made of our fightback:

on the game…
I believe we had a little bit of a slow start and our combinations were too slow. On top of that we were shocked by the stunner that they scored. Overall from then on it was important not to panic and to keep control of the game and in the second half I believe our team was better balanced and better equipped going forward. I changed it at half-time and in the second half it was just a question of time. Overall, I believe we won in a convincing way.

on how crucial the introduction of Kolasinac was…
I moved to a four [at the back] in the second half and Kolasinac gave us a lot going forward, but as well he pushed Sanchez more forward. Sanchez played very deep in the first half and when he had more support on the flanks from Kolasinac he became more dangerous.

on if we will enjoy the Europa League…
Football is football. Once you are on the football pitch, if you love football, you play. You don’t wonder what kind of cup it is when you sit in the dressing room. You want to play football and we played against a good team tonight. A Bundesliga team is always difficult to beat.

on Alexis’ goal and his performance…
I think in the second half he became alive. He’s still running, fighting to come back to his best physically. But Alexis is Alexis - he’s an exceptional player and even if he’s not completely back today. physically, he is an exceptional football player and he can deliver a decisive pass or a goal at any moment. For us, tonight he gave some great balls and in the second half of course he scored. He can always create something special.

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