Last night’s win over Red Star Belgrade guaranteed Arsenal’s progression to the next stage of the Europa League, but it was far from a walkover with the Serbians giving as good as they got and had the same amount of attempts on goal as we did. Other than Wilshere’s good performance we were also treated to another spectacular goal from Olivier Giroud, and for a change he didn’t come of the bench to get it!
The Frenchman admitted that he only went for it because he couldn’t see any other options. “In that position I can control the ball and try to play with another teammate, but I didn’t see anyone and I tried to take it as I can,” he said. “It was a little bit like Palace, and I’ve been a bit lucky because it’s top corner, but it’s back of the net..
“I’m happy for the team, because we’ve been resilient until the end. We keep believing in our game and we knew it would be a tough game, but we needed to be patient and played our game with our qualities.”
“We obviously want to win every single game, and we’ve played two away games, and this is very nice for the future,” Giroud continued. “We can play with certainty and try to win every game in this group.”
Normally a goal like that would have guaranteed Giroud the Man Of The Match, but the striker himself believes that the only reason we won the game was because of the feats of our Number One Petr Cech, who was only playing because of an injury to David Ospina. “We owe him maybe the win today because he has been amazing two or three times,” Giroud said. “We know he has this quality and he was a great goalkeeper tonight.”
Arsene Wenger also agreed that Cech was the difference between the sides. “Of course its important to have a good goalkeeper in these kinds of games,” the manager said. “He came out very quickly on counter-attacks and sometimes when we lost the ball in unexpected ways it was dangerous, and Petr Cech kept us in the game.”
So, looking at it in hindsight, should Petr have got the Man Of The Match award?