In the absence of Mikel Arteta and Santi Cazorla, Arsenal’s two most regular penalty takers in recent times, Arsene Wenger has spoken about the other options available to him.
Olivier Giroud stepped up to convert last night’s penalty, reportedly his 10th conversion from 11 in his top-flight career, and it was a goal which sealed the deal for the Gunners last night.
Speaking afterwards, the Arsenal manager touched on the order of penalty takers for last night’s game, saying, “He was on the list to be No 1. Number two was Walcott and No 3 was Ramsey, so we respected the order.
“It is maybe easier to take a penalty when you have already scored, but he took it well. He practised in training and it showed.”
Wenger was full of praise for his centre-forward who looked like he might have go off after turning his ankle, but stayed on to fire Arsenal into the knock-out stages.
“It was a perfect performance because he scored a header, one with a good combination thanks to a good pass by Campbell, and also a penalty on top of that,” he said.
“He was sometimes in uncomfortable positions but he fought like mad and he has shown skill and character. I always defended Olivier on the character side because he has always had something special on that front.
“He showed that in the game again today.”
It’s a performance that should earn him some credit from those reluctant to give it to him.