When Laurent Koscielny bundled the ball over the line against Burnley, you would have been hard pressed to find a more relieved man in the stadium than Arsène Wenger.
The manager had watched his side dominate possession at Turf Moor, but fail to create any clear-cut opportunities against Sean Dyche's well-drilled defence.
- Get the latest team news ahead of Sunday's game
- See what the boss said after extending Mertesacker's contract
- Find out what the boss thinks of Burnley's season
In the end it took Koscielny’s 90th-minute winner to secure three points, but there was a moment when even Wenger was worried we might not have left Lancashire with any points at all.
“We were very close to drawing and maybe even losing the game because they had one or two chances from set-pieces with Sam Vokes,” the manager said. “It was the game where we have maybe been the most lucky because Koscielny touched the ball with his hand for the goal.
“We had a good domination but they defended very well. When we came out of the game I thought, ‘They will not go down’ because of their spirit and organisation. They have strong points there and they accept that they will give you the ball. Not many teams do that and keep their focus.
“They say, ‘OK from the start of the game you have the ball but we might try to kill you at some stage’. You need a special spirit to do that. Once you have 10 years in the Premier League, you have the pressure to do a bit more.
“In the first year, everybody accepts you will do that and that makes them dangerous because they are good at it and they accept it all together. That makes them efficient.”
More polls coming soon...
Copyright 2023 The Arsenal Football Club Limited. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.