Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger not getting carried away after big win at Sunderland
Published 29/10/2016 | 22:46
Arsene Wenger was taking nothing for granted after seeing Arsenal climb to the top of the Premier League table with a 4-1 romp at Sunderland.
Doubles from Alexis Sanchez and substitute Olivier Giroud helped the Gunners bounce back from last weekend's disappointing 0-0 home draw with promoted Middlesbrough as they extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to 14 games in Saturday's early kick-off at the Stadium of Light.
Wenger was delighted with the display, but was refusing to be carried away by the sight of his club at the top of the pile.
He said: "That's where everybody wants to be, so we'll not complain. But it's too early and it's too tight as well. We have so many good teams in the league.
"But we'll go game after game. It's a good feeling when you play first and when you win because at least you have one good day."
Sanchez headed the Gunners into a 19th-minute lead but, as chances went begging, they failed to kill the game off and Jermain Defoe levelled from a 65th-minute penalty.
But that simply served to re-light the Arsenal fires and Giroud, who had been on the pitch for barely two minutes, struck twice in quick succession before Sanchez helped himself to a second, all three goals coming inside seven minutes.
Giroud's goals were his first of the season and Wenger was full of praise for a man who has played a largely peripheral role in the campaign to date.
He said: "Olivier is a guy who mentally is absolutely fantastic. He is strong - every time he is questioned, he gives you the right answer on the pitch and I admire that in him.
"He is a guy who has gone through some difficult questions - even before the European Championships in France, he had been questioned by the crowd and, in the end, everybody was on his side."
Asked if the France international had now given him a headache with Sanchez having played the lone striker role in recent weeks, Wenger said: "A headache is easy when they score goals. You have no headache when they don't score. But you know, we play every three days, so it's simple."
The defeat handed Sunderland a share of Manchester City's (1995-96) unwanted Premier League record of no victories and just two points from the opening 10 games of the season, but manager David Moyes, who brought on Adnan Januzaj at 1-1 in search of a winner, remained defiant as he vowed to halt the slump.
Moyes said: "I'm experienced. I have been not quite in this position before, but I am experienced, lots of games in the Premier League. I'll keep doing what I do.
"I'll keep doing it and I'll keep working them. We had to to stick in the game. We were playing against a team of better quality than us. How could we hang in the game as long as we could and try to have a chance of winning it late on or getting something from it?
"We did, we grew into the game, got back in the game but, in the end, the difference in the strength at the time coming off the bench to us was probably too big.
"We're disappointed to have lost four goals. I don't think we deserved to lose four goals in the end. I wouldn't say it flattered them, but I thought we'd done enough not to be beaten by that amount of goals."