Laurent Koscielny hails confidence-boosting win for Arsenal
The Gunners picked up their first win of 2018 as they secured a 4-1 victory over Crystal Palace.
Laurent Koscielny believes Arsenal needed their victory over Crystal Palace on Saturday to restore the confidence lost following a poor run of results.
The Gunners had not won a game in 2018 before they eased past Palace with a comfortable 4-1 victory at the Emirates Stadium.
Nacho Monreal, Alex Iwobi, Koscielny and Alexandre Lacazette all struck inside the opening quarter of the game with the Eagles scoring a late consolation through Luka Milivojevic.
The win came without Alexis Sanchez who, despite manager Arsene Wenger claiming could feature if his move to Manchester United had not been completed, was again left out of the squad.
But, unlike last week where Arsenal lost 2-1 at Bournemouth without the Chilean, his absence was not felt in the slightest as Mesut Ozil and Jack Wilshere shone.
Having slipped to sixth and been knocked out of the FA Cup by Nottingham Forest since the turn of the year, results were not going the way of Wenger’s side and Koscielny reckons it was key to get back to winning ways.
“It was very important because the last few games we didn’t play well and didn’t get the three points, and we didn’t give as much as we need to, to win games,” he told Arsenal Player.
“We were focused on what we want to achieve together, we know we have the quality technically and physically but mentally we needed to push ourselves more.
“We just had one target and that was to win, and the first half was very good. It was important for our confidence and confidence comes with results and wins. So today we are a little bit more confident than last week.
“Without sacrifice on the pitch, the defensive runs and offensive runs give solutions to your team-mates. If you don’t keep this you can’t win in the Premier league so we need to keep this.”
RH: It became very hard to take as we conceded two goals from corner kicks. It is something we have been quite strong at recently.— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) January 20, 2018
We managed to get a goal of our own and keep the deficit to minus three. pic.twitter.com/rWDgYHdHgp
It was a bad day all-round for Palace boss Roy Hodgson who saw his side concede poor goals before Yohan Cabaye was taken off on a stretcher late on.
The France international was wearing a protective boot and using crutches as he left the stadium, telling reporters he has twisted his ankle.
Having been 4-0 down in just 22 minutes, Palace could have completely crumbled but held their own in a more sedate second half.
Milivojevic turned home an impressive volley to get the visitors on the scoresheet and is hopeful the performance after the interval can stand Palace in good stead moving forward.
“Being 4-0 down after 20 minutes is a very hard situation for me, for the team, it’s not an easy moment,” he told cpfc.co.uk.
“However, the second half was much better. A difficult game for us, but we have to continue.
“We can take many things from the second-half performance and I’m sure we will have learned what to do to never repeat something like this again.”