Tuesday 24 April 2018

Wenger hails Arsenal's 'spirit, organisation and brilliance'

Arsene Wenger hailed his side's spirit after their victory over Manchester City
Arsene Wenger hailed his side's spirit after their victory over Manchester City

Jamie Holland

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger hailed his side's spirit after their victory over Manchester City - and he had special praise for playmaker Mesut Ozil, who contributed two assists despite having been ill in the build-up.

Wenger said: "It was a very intense game at a high pace. I believe that we have shown our talents of spirit, organisation and brilliance all together and that gave us three points.

"When we had not the legs any more we relied on the spirit and that got us through in the end.

"You could see when the legs went - Ozil was sick all week - but they still keep going. That's fantastic to see.

"Our belief is strong. We have a bit more maturity in the side now, which you could see in the game when we were under pressure and we could deal with it.

"Every win strengthens the belief when it's a big game like that."

Opening goalscorer Theo Walcott also lavished praise on Ozil, saying: "The thing about Mesut is he sees things. He knows what you're going to do before you do it you just have to make that run. Again, when you've got special players on the pitch that provides special moments."


Ozil downplayed his role, adding: "I'm happy to help the team. You see on the pitch all my team-mates help me so I can play my game, so I try to help the team."

City boss Manuel Pellegrini bemoaned missed chances and errors in defence.

"We played better than Arsenal in the first half. The first shot they had was the first goal. Before that we had a clear option to score and we didn't score," he said.

"The second goal was very important, in the last minute, and it was a mistake from our team.

"In the second half we took more risks and had options to have at least a draw.

"I think we did better than Arsenal, we had more possession, more chances, but we didn't win the game. In this important game we can't make so many mistakes."

Yaya Toure, who pulled back a goal late on to set up a grandstand finale, said: "In the end we were a little bit unlucky, we had a couple of chances.

"It was quite disappointing. We were in control of the game but Arsenal were very clever and when we lost the ball they came forward quick.

"We need to bounce back on Saturday. The games are coming quick and we need to get all the players fit and try to do the business."

Irish Independent

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport