Mikel Arteta certainly knew that it wasn’t going to be an easy game for Arsenal against Bodo last night, but we already knew that the weather conditions were going to be far from ideal, especially with loads of changes from the team that beat Liverpool at the weekend.
But the biggest problem was the wet, artificial turf which reacted completely differently to the grass at the Emirates, and the Gunners found it very hard to string many passes in the fluid way that we have come to expect.
There were some players that couldn’t seem to adapt and at times we looked very mediocre and our opponents had many more chances than they had back in the first leg in London. But we were lucky that we got our winner, and it may be considered that Saka got a lucky deflection from his chest, but at least we did try and get into many scorng positions ourselves, despite the conditions.
Mikel Arteta was as much relieved as happy to get all three points. “It’s a really tough place to come,” he told Arsenal.com. “they’ve won here the last 14 games in European competition and that’s not a coincidence, we’ve seen that tonight.
“We had good periods in the game, we had periods we struggled especially in the second half. We didn’t find enough continuity, in some moments we were lucky not to concede a goal.”
He added that he didn’t want to use the artificial pitch or the conditions as an excuse for the performance. “It doesn’t matter what it is,”
“We said you have to find a way to win every three days. When it’s snowing, when it’s raining, when it’s astroturf, when the pitch is not good, when it’s long, when you make seven changes, like this. You have to find a way to win and today I’m really pleased because we found a way to win again.”
And so Arsenal incredible winning run continues and we are firmly fixed at the top of our Euuropa League Group, and a good win against PSV next week shuld be enough to make sure we end up on top. But the Dutch side will be our biggest European test so far…