Flamini delivers for Arsenal in a close Cup match derby
Coach Wenger praises his midfielder Matthieu Flamini who scored a brace for Arsenal and qualified the team to the next round.
You do not expect Mathieu Flamini to score two goals. He was certainly frustrated for a long time and he went for it. He scored two good goals, especially the second one. I think on the second one he made an early decision to go for it and just focused and finished with a great goal. Overall I must say we responded well mentally and physically to the challenge we faced tonight and it was a convincing performance. We were unlucky to concede an own goal and we found the resources to score a second. Tottenham gave absolutely everything but [after] around 70 minutes we could take advantage. They dropped a little bit with their intensity and we found a little bit more space to play just at the moment when Alexis came on. We found we could create dangerous situations.
on why he selected Flamini…
First of all I wanted to rotate the team a little bit and he had worked very [hard] recently. I saw in training he was focused and had come back to a good level and I also thought I wanted to strengthen a bit the midfield with Arteta who had not played in a long time. I wanted a second player to strengthen a bit defensively and that meant Flamini and Arteta together gave some defensive guarantees.
on Arsenal’s resilience…
That was the most pleasing [aspect]. Suddenly when it was 1-1 you could expect Tottenham to find a second goal but suddenly it looked like it was us who were more likely to score a second goal.
“Everybody took their chance, but it’s not the only chance because I rotate a bit from game to game and I felt that it was needed because we’ve given a lot recently in three days with 10 players. I needed to refresh the team and it worked.
“It was important for us to win and we did it. It can quickly become a drop of belief, of confidence and it was important to respond. I must say that we were at the requested level physically and mentally from the start onwards. Overall we delivered a good performance.”