Wenger and Arsenal stop Chelsea’s 13 games unbeaten run
Arsene Wenger – Arsenal coach:
on the win…
It was an intense game. We scored the first goal and after that you could see two teams playing with full concentration, full commitment. Maybe in some parts during the game we just tried to protect our lead but you could see that my team was really determined not to give a goal away. Sometimes we lost offensive potential by focusing on our defensive side, but every time we attacked we had chances. We had many chances today and the best chances were on our side. We won against a good team, we won another trophy… so that’s positive.
on whether Arsenal abandoned their philosophy…
We abandoned nothing. We defended well. Our game is based on togetherness, on solidarity, and defending and attacking well. I believe that we defended because there was maybe a bit of a psychological hurdle ahead of my players. They were more concerned with protecting our lead against Chelsea rather than playing attacking football. We have to accept that and I don’t think that’s giving up your philosophy, it’s a punctual fact that we wanted to win a game like that. I’m quite proud of that.
on whether it is satisfying to beat Jose Mourinho…
There’s an extra satisfaction because we won a game between two very good teams, and we also didn’t concede a goal against the offensive potential that Chelsea has. At the end we wanted to win and we won.
on beating Mourinho for the first time…
I must honestly say that it didn’t play on my mind at all. As long as I get it served every time in press conferences it can have an impact on the team. Certainly the way my team behaved during some periods in the game, it helped. It was important for them to get that hurdle out of the way.
on Arsenal’s confidence going into the season…
Confidence-wise it’s good, it’s positive, and it allows you to focus on your next game with belief. It shows your players that they’re doing something right and apart from that, now the Premier League starts. We have to turn up with the needed and demanded performance in every single game. We have a tricky start against West Ham United, Crystal Palace – the two derbies – and then Liverpool straight after. We need to keep a high level of urgency to start well because last year we had that problem.
on Petr Cech…
He did well. Maybe he had an influence on the Chelsea players as well because they felt that to score against him they had to score the perfect goal. When you have that sometimes you want to try too hard. It happened especially with Eden Hazard when he had that chance in the box.
Jose Mourinho – Chelsea coach
“For me it depends on the perspective. Normally you [the media] like to say a team that is defensive and defends very well doesn’t deserve to win.
‘But I also have my opinion, different from your opinion. My opinion is the team that defends very well, that leaves their philosophy in the dressing room, changes their attitude, plays all the second half with nine players in front of the box, doesn’t concede and scores one goal, from that perspective they deserve to win.
‘This is football. This is very good tactical organisation. Congratulations to them.’
I expected the lack of sharpness, it’s normal. Some players like Falcao started a week ago. The others have had two weeks and half of this week. The pitch was a disaster, so slow, the weather didn’t help too but it was the same for both teams so no excuses. I know Arsenal also like a good, fast pitch.
‘One team played counter-attack football well. One team played with initiative well but without the sharpness you need to be more aggressive with the ball. The team tactically tried everything.’
‘I never had a psychological edge. It’s not normal what happened before, and because it’s not normal I never paid attention to that. I always thought one game is one game and has no relation with other games. Thirteen matches is an eternity. It has never been a question of beating someone and losing to another one.’