Boss on victory, Welbeck and Wembley

Arsene Wenger faced the media after Arsenal's FA Cup quarter-final victory against Manchester United at Old Trafford. You can read a full transcript of the press conference below:

on the win…It was important for us to start at a high pace, put them under pressure and I think we started without any apprehension. That gave them problems. Unfortunately at half-time it was 1-1 but overall we felt we were in control in the second half after we scored the second goal. We could have scored one or two more. Overall I’m pleased above all with the performance and the mental aspect of the game. It was always positive and you know that I like that.

on why Danny Welbeck started…He has pace and you also have to consider it psychologically. I have to rotate a little bit without destroying the balance of the team and I felt that we could have counter-attacking chances tonight and he would be ideal for that. Overall he had a great game.

on Welbeck answering critics…We all want to do well when we play against our former club to show that we are a great player but it’s not easy to deal with the mental situation. He focused just on his game and didn’t do anything special, he just played football like you want him to play. He has shown mental strength because that’s not always easy to deal with.


Man Utd 1-2 Arsenal, March 9, 2015

on whether he had to speak to him before the game…Yes. I knew very late that he would play.

on whether Welbeck had any extra motivation…I don’t know. You’ll have to ask him that. I just think he wants to win and he’s a team player. What I like with Danny is that he’s intelligent, he wants to do well for the team, he’s a great talent and recently he has done extremely well for the national team as well. He has shown today when you can produce such a complete performance offensively and defensively, he has a great future.

on whether this is a turning point for Arsenal…I hope so. On the day we have shown that we are mentally on the level that was requested because it was a very physical game, a very committed game where we needed to deal with a very dedicated Manchester United team and we did that well without forgetting to play our football. You need some quality to do that.

on the travelling support…I have a huge respect for that, believe me. I’m happy for that as well because when you have 9,000 fans travelling up here on a Monday night it shows you the huge size of the club.

on the semi-final draw…We will be favourites but we have tricky memories from last year. It was our hardest game in the whole run. Let’s prepare well. What is important is to focus now on the Premier League. On Saturday we play West Ham and then the Champions League, we’ll see what happens. It’s a long way away now.

on the referee…He had a good game. It’s not easy but he’s one of the promising referees.

on whether this will help get a top-four finish…Every win makes you stronger and you could see the fact that we have won at Manchester City certainly helped us to deal with the other part of the game. When you win in the big games it’s more [of a mental boost]. We know we have the football to go with it but the belief is important as well.

on how important the FA Cup is…It was a decisive moment. The team was a bit down at half-time at 1-1 because we felt we should not be 1-1. The best way to respond is to score a second goal.

on how well Welbeck took his goal…Of course he did well. He kept his calm. De Gea made one or two outstanding saves again tonight.

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