Wenger: Work to be done

Arsene Wenger saw room for improvement as Arsenal ground out a dramatic 2-1 victory over 10-man Crystal Palace.

Last Updated: 17/08/14 at 11:04 Post Comment

Arsene Wenger: Saw Arsenal open the season with a narrow win

Arsene Wenger: Saw Arsenal open the season with a narrow win

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A side tipped by many to mount a sustained challenge for the Premier League title in 2014/15 required goals in stoppage-time at the end of either half to snatch all three points at Emirates Stadium.

Brede Hangeland had nodded Palace into a surprise lead on the opening weekend, with the visitors to north London still coming to terms with the shock departure of manager Tony Pulis.

Arsenal responded positively, though, to draw level before half-time through Laurent Koscielny.

They then made their numerical advantage count in the closing stages - after Jason Puncheon had seen red - with Aaron Ramsey bundling home to secure a winning start to the season.

Asked if he felt his side were deserving victors, Wenger told Sky Sports: “We feel overall, yes.

“But credit to Palace, they fought hard – they are physically very strong, were well organised. On top of that, with the first goal, we gave ourselves a difficult task today.

“We lacked a little bit a change of pace and they gave us big problems in defending.

“We keep going and that’s one of our strengths. It paid off today.”

Pressed on where Arsenal need to improve heading forward, the Frenchman added: “The change of pace in the final third, that is usually one of our strengths and today we lacked it a little bit.

“Is it down to the quality of their defending? Is it down to the fact that we are not completely there yet physically? Maybe a bit of both.”

The one negative for Arsenal after collecting a positive result was a second-half injury suffered by full-back Kieran Gibbs, with the England international now a major doubt for Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League play-off clash with Besiktas.

Wenger added: “Certainly, if it’s a hamstring strain, yes.”

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Readers' Comments

W

e have the personnel. The trick is keeping them fit. Carrick and Blind have missed large chunks of the season, while the defence has been one muddled mess of intermittent stooges, all coming and going at various intervals thus far. We may be just short of title winning quality, but we're half way through. An injury crisis to either of the top two could change things. Optimistic, yes, but not unrealistic.

HarryBoulton
One Point And One Conclusion For United

P

arish is the man to blame for this shambles. Pulis must be chuckling into his left over turkey sandwich. I pray this doesn't mean the Neil Warnock media machine will kick in now and he'll be back on the telly box.

magicfuller
Warnock sacked by Palace

W

e almost found a new way to lose, just when I thought it was getting boring Giroud does that. Although Arsenal are deservedly called 'soft' the entire midfield is out injured. Still must admit MU are managing to win despite a similar raft of absentees. Think the Gunners have good players but poorly coached.

gettalong
Wenger: Giroud deserved red

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