Francis Coquelin knows all about the importance of squad depth, which is why he wasn’t surprised to see Olivier Giroud and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain make such a big impact off the bench.
Replacing Mohamed Elneny and Carl Jenkinson in the second half, the duo left their mark on the game in some style when Giroud powered home Oxlade-Chamberlain’s cross to level against Manchester United, and Coquelin was delighted with his team-mates’ contributions:
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on the draw…
The first goal in the second half made it quite hard for us but the response from the team was very good. The players who came on were superb. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain came on at right back and gave a great ball to Olivier Giroud who was also a substitute, and he scored a massive goal. It showed the whole team is really focused on what we are doing.
on Giroud’s goal…
He’s not been starting a lot recently but there’s this theory that every time he comes on he manages to score. He did that again and his headers are unbelievable. It’s probably the only chance he had and he put it away. He showed how good he is.
on feeling a sense of relief…
It’s a massive relief because it was a tough game. We were 1-0 down so to come back and get a point at Old Trafford is a great result for us.
on whether they were aware United would press so high…
We watched a video before the game and we knew they would press. We expected it and in the first half we managed to stop them mostly, even though they had a couple of chances, but in the second half the goal hit us hard. Still, we had the resources to get back in the game and get a point.
on showing mental strength…
We’ve shown this with the depth of our squad. Every time someone comes on, it puts quality in the team. Alex came on at right back which isn’t his favoured position but he did extremely well. We’ve also seen Olivier’s quality as well because he only needed one touch of the ball and it went in. It just shows how good the squad is and how tough we are mentally.
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