Thursday, September 29, 2016

Late penalty saves the day for Arsenal

September 10, 2016 by  
Filed under Premier League

Premier League fixture 4: Arsenal 2-1 Southampton

Arsenal obtained three points late in stoppage time with a penalty converted by Santi Cazorla at the 90+4 minute! After Watford, before the international break, this is the second consecutive win for the Gunners who are not sitting in the first half of the standings. The game was very complicated against a modest Southampton side that led early thanks to an own goal credited to GK Petr Cech. Defender Koscielny celebrated his 31st birthday with the goal to level the game at the break.

Southampton had several chances to clinch the win in the second half but Cech was decisive to protect his goal and made several saves. Arsenal kept pushing to score and was rewarded a very late penalty. In the Premier League, Arsenal will now focus on its next game at Hull City. Both teams have earned a total of 7 points in the first games and the odds according to several different casinos see Arsenal come on top with a third straight win. After a difficult start of the campaign, it would certainly launch their Premier League season.

Next upcoming challenge comes fast when the Champions League resumes on Tuesday for Arsenal against the quadruple French champion and title contender PSG in Paris. A game many observers see to be very close.

Coach Wenger was satisfied by the result although it came very late:

We had a little bit of a slow start and after 20 minutes we were 1-0 down, so we came back well into the game and we had a good response. In the second half I felt we dominated well again and created many dangerous situations but couldn’t score. Because we threw everything forward we were always a little bit under threat on the counter-attack of Southampton and in the end we got the penalty, so it’s a relief.

When you lose your first home game, you cannot afford to drop points in the second home game because it creates a little bit of anxiety at home and that’s not what we really want.
It is a win after Watford, that is two wins together. If we can put a few wins together, of course that will help us to be more confident and to get to a very fluent level like we want to play.
I haven’t seen it [the penalty] again on video. They tell me in the dressing room it was a penalty, 100 per cent penalty. Have you seen it again on video? I haven’t. There were maybe one or two on corners before, I don’t know. But I’ll watch it again, I promise you. It’s difficult for me to give you an opinion.

on the new signings:
I feel both are short [of fitness] a bit, they lack competition and their second half was much better than their first half. They were a bit surprised by the pace and the commitment of the Premier League [but] they will adapt to that. As well, they were a bit on their nerves in the first half. In the second it was much better.

Eyeing PSG for Champions League: We will see how everyone is tomorrow morning. For Tuesday, we might just have Gibbs coming back, who was not in the squad today. It’s possible they are in the squad. 

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