Arsene Wenger was clearly delighted after his team came back from a goal down to beat Barcelona at the Emirates last night.
Van Persie and Arshavin scored two important goals in a space of five minutes in the second half that changed the game. However, Wenger took a big gamble, when Arsenal were still trailing, in bringing on Arshavin for Song, who was holding the midfield.
Speaking after the game, the manager explained how his gamble worked when he replaced Song with Arshavin in order to go for it but admitted that it could have backfired.
Wenger was also full of praise for Wilshere and Koscielny after the game. Wilshere and Koscielny both played a major role in the comeback of Arsenal as Wilshere was excellent in the middle of the park and Koscielny took care of the proceedings at the back.
Speaking about Wilshere’s performance, the manger admitted that he was outstanding and said that how being unfazed by the occasion helped the young English man to perform well.
As for Koscielny, Wenger said that he is improving with every game as he was also outstanding last night.
When asked about Nasri’s return, Wenger said that how after a slow start he became stronger as the time passed and never looked like a player returning from injury.
Samir Nasri provided the final ball to Arshavin that led to the winner in the 83rd minute.
Wenger, after the game, said:
It was a mixture of the yellow card [he received] and because I wanted to go for it. We finished with Wilshere, Fabregas, Nasri, Bendtner and Van Persie – we needed to score two goals. We took a gamble and it could have backfired and we could have lost 2-0 or 3-0 to them. It worked.
[Jack Wilshere] was outstanding tonight. He was not fazed by the occasion in difficult periods. He took the ball and got out of the pressure. For me, [Laurent Koscielny] was outstanding. He is improving. [Samir Nasri] became stronger and stronger. He did not look like a player who has not played for such a long time. He started hesitantly and became more confident.