Wenger singles out Arsenal duo for praise after victory at Crystal Palace

PUBLISHED: 18:18 21 February 2015 | UPDATED: 18:18 21 February 2015

Arsenal's Per Mertesacker goes up for a header (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

Arsenal's Per Mertesacker goes up for a header (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

2015 Getty Images

Arsene Wenger praised central defenders Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker after Arsenal secured a battling 2-1 win over London rivals Crystal Palace.

An early penalty from Santi Cazorla and a close-range finish from Olivier Giroud put the Gunners 2-0 up by half-time, and they survived a frantic finale as Palace substitute Glenn Murray headed against the post moments after pulling a goal back in stoppage time.

Wenger admitted Arsenal rode their luck at times against the impressive Eagles, but overall he was pleased with his side’s performance – despite their late complacency.

“Certainly they thought that it was done and we know in the Premier League that it’s never done, especially at 2-0,” he said. “With that ball on the post we were a bit fortunate.

“It was about fighting and playing. Crystal Palace are a team who played with high intensity, a very direct game and for us it was important to resist and try to play.

“We did that well but at 2-0 at half-time we came out in the second half much more to protect our advantage than to continue to play and put them under pressure.

“We missed goal number three and when they came back to 2-1 we were a bit lucky, a bit fortunate. Overall we did fight and it was in the end a very important win for us.”

Koscielny and Mertesacker withstood everything that was thrown at them until Murray’s scrappy strike, and Wenger was sure to praise his centre-back pairing.

“Overall I must say that our central defenders played very well today against a very direct and a very physical game at the back. They did well so overall I’m pleased to have won three points in a place like this.”

Palace felt aggrieved by both Arsenal goals, with the penalty incident taking place right on the edge of the box and Danny Welbeck appearing to be offside in the build up to their second.

“I don’t know if he was offside or not but I think Giroud was not offside when he went clean through in the second half,” Wenger said.

“I am sure of that because he started behind the defenders and he was clean through. I don’t know if Welbeck was offside or not.”

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

Yesterday, 16:00

Eric Dier is ready to finally return to Portugal in what will be a “very special” occasion when England play in the Nations League Finals next summer.

Yesterday, 14:00

Harry Redknapp is currently taking part in the latest series of I’m A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here!

Yesterday, 13:19

Two goals from Hazuki Nagai helped Japan come from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Great Britain at the FIH Champions Trophy in China.

Yesterday, 10:00

Arsenal Women’s Jordan Nobbs has been ruled out of the rest of the WSL season and could miss next summer’s World Cup in France after rupturing her anterior cruciate ligament, writes Joshua Bunting.

Yesterday, 09:00

Bostik Premier Division: Haringey Borough 3 Dorking Wanderers 2

Yesterday, 08:11

Jessica Naz netted her first goal for Tottenham Ladies in a 1-0 win over old rivals Charlton Athletic Women as her side returned to winning ways, writes Rosie Bonass.

Mon, 16:00

Herts/Middlesex One: Staines 17 Hendon 22

Mon, 14:10

Herts/Middlesex One: St Albans 13 UCS Old Boys 6


Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate sport

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now