Arsene Wenger hailed goalscorer Olivier Giroud after his incredible goal led to a 2-0 victory for Arsenal over Crystal Palace.
Giroud scored a magnificent goal to open the scoring for Arsenal, and that set the team on their way to a 2-0 victory. Alex Iwobi doubled the lead with a looping header after some confusion in Crystal Palace’s penalty box, and Arsenal eased to a victory after that to pick up all 3 points on New Year’s day.
It was a great team performance with Granit Xhaka, Alex Iwobi and central defensive duo Laurent Koscileny and Gabriel Paulista all impressing on the night, and Arsene Wenger was understandably pleased after the game and felt that Arsenal played to their strengths and controlled the game.
“We controlled the game. We had a little difficult patch in the second half but overall I think we controlled the game well. I was very pleased with the pace of our game. The speed of our passing, our movement. Our game is based on that and I felt for long periods of the game I felt we had a good mixture between possession and penetration,” he said, according to TEAMtalk.
Wenger also had high praise for goalscorer Olivier Giroud.
“It was a great counter-attack at great speed. The ball was kicked behind him and he had that great reflex, a big surprise. It’s a surprise and a fantastic goal. I was a bit spoiled over the years by great goals. With the exceptional quality all these players had and everyone you remember for the exceptional quality like the exceptional Giroud goal.”
“It’s a reflex and I think all of us can score this kind of goal. The strength, the power and the reflex to kick the ball. Groud is very good in front of goal from crosses but I’ve never seen this kind of goal from him.”
The result means Arsenal have now moved into third place but are still 9 points off league leaders Chelsea, who made it 13 wins in a row yesterday and look unstoppable at the moment. Wenger was coy when pressed on a title challenge and said that all Arsenal could do was to keep winning games and hope the other teams dropped points.
With a hectic few days ahead of them, Arsenal will be hoping they can maintain this level of performance in all their games and keep the pace with the Blues and Liverpool.
With Arsenal scheduled to face Chelsea just over a month from now, the Gunners must keep the pressure on and hope that the gap between the two thins so they can deal a huge blow to Antonio Conte’s side in that fixture. For now, though, Wenger can sit back and enjoy this performance – especially the unforgettable goal from Olivier Giroud.