Arsene Wenger says he was “very pleased” with how Arsenal coped against a physical and competitive Lens side in their pre-season opener.
The Gunners fought back from a goal behind to earn a draw against the hardworking Ligue 2 side, who are two weeks ahead in their preparations for the 2016/17 campaign.
“I’m very pleased because we had a very dynamic game,” the manager told Arsenal Player. “This team starts their season next week with ambition to come up to Ligue 1 again.
“It was a big atmosphere and all you could want to have a good preparation for the season. They played quick, sharp, well organised and closed us down, and that’s better than having loose friendlies. I’m very pleased with the quality of our workout.”
Another positive was Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who came off the bench to score a late equaliser with a sensational chip into the top corner. Wenger has urged fans to be patient while the England midfielder completes his rehabilitation from injury.
“I’m still a bit cautious,” he said. “He’s fully recovered but I want him to go through four or five games first to be completely reassured. You could see that straight away, when he came on, he brought something to the team.
“Let’s hope he gets through the rest of pre-season. It was also good for me to see some young players. Krystian Bielik came on and did very well for example, and you could see Alex Iwobi in different positions too, so it was interesting.”
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