English Premiership

Wenger salutes Arsenal match-saviours

2017-01-04 21:05
Oliver Giroud (Getty Images)

London - Arsene Wenger heaped praise on Lucas Perez and Olivier Giroud, with the pair both instrumental in helping Arsenal come back from three-nil down to secure a 3-3 draw with Bournemouth on Tuesday night.

Charlie Daniels had given the Cherries a 16th minute lead at the Vitality Stadium before a 20th minute Callum Wilson penalty, and Ryan Fraser's 58th minute strike.

But Alexis Sanchez reduced the deficit for the Gunners with 70 minutes on the clock before Perez popped up five minutes later with his goal, having joined the action as a 63rd minute substitute, before Giroud's stoppage-time, winning header.

And after the match, when asked about Giroud's importance to the side, Wenger told the club's official website: "Every player is important. 

"I thought Lucas came on and had an exceptional game. 

"I said on Sunday that Giroud can score important goals he has done that again today because when you play in the box he is dangerous. 

"I think Lucas scored an exceptional goal of pure class. Giroud again scored because we dominated and he can score a header."

He added: "Look, you have mixed feelings after a game like that because you wanted three points and you got only one. But when you are 3-0 down after 70 minutes you take a point as well."

The usually exemplary Hector Bellerin had a poor night by his standards, and was easily brushed away for Fraser's goal, with Wenger putting his below-par performance down to having a slight injury prior to kick-off.

He continued: "He had a knock, he was uncertain to play. That’s the problem when you have only 48 hours, you have to play some players who come out of a game like Crystal Palace [with knocks]. We had three or four players who we had to wait for the warm up to see if they could play."

Wenger added that Francis Coquelin was also injured and will need a scan to asses the damage to his leg.

"Coquelin has a hamstring. It’s too early, you have to wait 48 hours for a scan to see. Usually when he sits down and comes up it’s not so good news. It’s just a tightness. The player tries to get on but he didn’t even try to play again."

The draw sees Wenger's men drop to fourth position in the standings eight points adrift Chelsea who have a game in hand.

Arsenal's next league fixture will be against Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium on January 14.

Kick off is scheduled for 17:00.


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