Arsene Wenger faced the media after Arsenal beat Crystal Palace 2-1 at Selhurst Park on Sunday. You can read a full transcript of his press conference below...
on the win…We have shown our strong response and we have shown different aspects in our game that are vital in the Premier League. We had a good, fluent game in the first half and when they came back to 1-1 it was a mental test to see how we could respond. We managed to find a second goal and after that in the second half of the game we just had to dig in, fight, and we did it as well. I’m pleased because we have shown many different aspects that will be very important in the season.
on Crystal Palace’s equaliser…I haven’t seen the goal again but Koscielny had a very strong performance today. Maybe he has turned his back by reflex, I don’t know, but overall I was not happy with the goal. On the other hand it was a good test for us because this is a difficult place for everybody to come and to win. I’m sure they will beat many strong teams here and to get the three [points] is already a little bit of a turning point in the Premier League for us. To lose today would have been a big blow mentally.
on whether Francis Coquelin was lucky to stay on the pitch…I don’t believe so. He didn’t deserve a yellow card. The pressure was on to get him sent off. I had a hesitation at half-time but I felt that the pressure was already there. After the last foul I thought there was not much room for a decision.
on whether Coquelin thought he should have been sent off…No. He put his hands on his head because he thought it was not a free-kick, not because he thought he would be sent off.
on whether Palace were trying to get him sent off…Every time he intervened, the crowd were behind it and put the pressure on the referee. I felt that it was 60 minutes played, I didn’t want to take him off but I didn’t have much room.
on Alexis…He brings a drive forward. He brings the pressure on the opponent. He brings goal chances. When it was 1-1 it is no coincidence that he found the header over Ward [and] maybe it’s a typical Alexis goal. More desire than fitness, he is still a bit short fitness-wise but he is a fighter.
on Olivier Giroud…Giroud scored the goal and he was important because he had to kick a lot of long balls. I think he had a much stronger performance than recently.
on Mesut Ozil…He had a very good performance. He was important getting out from the back, getting out of tight areas. It is a pleasure to watch the quality of his passing and the intelligence of his passing. What I told you is what I want from him more is a few more goals this season. For the rest of the build-up in the game he was magnificent. He works harder than people thinks he does. He is not spectacular in his defending but he wants to do the job, he wants to help the team. What I liked in his game today was he made many runs without the ball behind the defenders, which is a bit new as he likes to come with the ball. Today he mixed up his game better.
on Santi Cazorla…Cazorla in important the start of the game when the ball comes from our defenders, because he can pass from deep midfield to high midfield better than everybody and get out of pressure. That’s why I positioned him more central. He is not any more a player on the flanks who can overlap and cross the ball.
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