Arsenal fans as usual had to endure an agonising 88 minutes before Arsenal finally managed to score the winning goal against Southampton last night, but thankfully Sanchez came to the rescue – as usual – after the Saints were reduced to ten men.
Wenger was pleased with the win, but thought that his team were tired after playing three games in a week, and had to sit back, be patient, and wait for our opponents to tire themselves out as well. “It was difficult for us to keep going from the start of the game because we’ve given a lot against Dortmund and on Saturday – today was the third game in seven days.” Wenger said on Arsenal.com.
“You could see that we had to dig deep. We played against a good team who are very well organised and play very quick on the counter-attack. For us it was important not to be exposed on the counter-attack and to keep a clean sheet. We had to be patient and wait for our chances and you could see in the last 20 minutes that they started to suffer a little bit physically and that we created openings.”
Olivier Giroud came on halfway through the second half and certainly made us look more dangerous, but Wenger admitted that he Frenchman was still not quite match-fit, whereas Alexis seemed tired from being OVER-played!
“Giroud worked very hard and we have a very good preparation system.” Wenger continued. “Everytime the players come back we get them to a point where they are basically ready but, having said that, he played 70 minutes on Saturday and 25 today. He was a bit jaded today but his physical presence made a difference.
“Alexis was one of the players who had to dig in today but he still has such a desire to fight, which is why he always finds something special to get the goal. It’s difficult to find examples of people who have settled so quickly. My memory is not perfect but quicker, you cannot. We are in December and he arrived in July – when you look at the number of goals and the impact he has on the team, it’s fabulous.”
That was Arsenal’s 7th oal scored in the last five minutes this season, and it looks like we are regaining our desire to fight to the end. We are now just three points behind third-placed Southampton and looking good going into the busy Christmas schedule. If Wenger thinks the players are looking jaded then he should give hem all a day off to recharge their batteries. They certainly deserve it!