Cape Town - Arsene
Wenger has revealed that Olivier Giroud predicted he would score
against Red Star Belgrade in their Europa League clash on Thursday.
The French striker netted the winning goal with a fantastic
bicycle-kick at Stadion Rajko Mitic in the 85th minute to hand the
Gunners a 1-0 victory.
Wenger was naturally delighted to have recorded the win - that saw
his side move five points clear of second-placed BATE Borisov, on nine
points in Group H.
Red Star Belgrade in third, also have four points, while FC Koln make
up the group, in fourth, with zero points from three games played.
After winning in Beograd, Wenger said: "Well at some stage he came to the touchline and told me he would score.
"I don't know [how he knew but] that's certainly no more than I did,
but I think that's Olivier Giroud - he keeps belief when it's tough and
that's why maybe he scores as well at moments you don't necessarily
expect him to score.
"I believe you win when you can - you do not decide when. What is
remarkable is the spirit we have shown, fighting together. They defended
very well, but the goal is a consequence of us wanting to play through
He added: "I believe that it was a very difficult game with high
intensity in a very heated and supportive atmosphere for the local team
and we kept going and trying to win the game and them as well in
Red Star boss Vladan Milojevic was, meanwhile, disappointed with the
result as Milan Rodic was harshly dismissed, for a second yellow card -
just five minutes before Giroud struck.
He said: "Every defeat hurts. The sending off was too harsh. We have
to move on. We did our best and the players can be proud. Arsenal didn't
dominate this game.
"Games like this are important and it's how you gain experience. We need that in order to improve."