Arsene Wenger has reflected on his side’s 5-3 win at Stamford Bridge and praised his side’s attacking quality and mental strength [what else?].
Losing 2-1 at half-time, the Gunners struck twice just after the break through Andre Santos and Theo Walcott only to see Juan Mata level things up again with ten minutes to go. Despite several hair-raising moments in the closing minutes a late brace from captain Robin van Persie sealed a hattrick for the Dutchman and three vital points for Arsenal.
Speaking to Sky Sports after the match the Frenchman told Geoff Shreeves: “It was absolutely fantastic to watch. I felt both teams really went for it. In the first half they had chances, we had chances.
“In the second half I felt that we were completely dominating the game and creating chance after chance. We got tighter in midfield and overall we have shown quality and mental strength.
“Going down just before half-time against a team like Chelsea and coming out like we did shows that there is a great resolve in the team.
“I felt in the first half we looked fragile in the first half defensively. In the second half much less so, we were much more in control. We always looked dangerous on the attack and that’s why I invited my team to keep going forward.
Responding to suggestions that the match could prove another welcome turning point after a tough start to the season, Wenger continued:
“We achieved a double target. To win a big game away from home and to do it with style and class. Of course it is an important day for us. We need to keep our feet on the ground, move on from that and focus on Tuesday when we have another big game [against Marseille].
“I see the game in a positive way because we played the football we want to play. You always think that the defensive mistakes that we made you can get rid of, but when you have no potential to go forward it’s more difficult to give it to the team.
“I felt that we did well today and that it should lift the confidence of the team again. We showed consistency in our spirit and in our performance. Let’s do that again on Tuesday night.”