Wenger: This KEY FACTOR helped Arsenal to snatch a point against PSG!
Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal’s experience counted in their favour against PSG.
He also has the collective efforts of David Ospina and Edinson Cavani to thank for a 1-1 draw with Paris Saint-Germain.
The Gunners fell behind to an early goal in their opening Champions League group encounter when Edinson Cavani headed home inside the penalty area.
Wenger opted to field Ospina in goal, but, after speaking on the eve of the game of the need to start the Champions League campaign well, the Colombian was picking the ball out of his net after just 41 seconds.
There was nothing Ospina could do as Cavani rose unmarked to head home Serge Aurier’s pinpoint cross.
It could have been worse for the Gunners were it not for a superb block by Laurent Koscielny. His defensive partner Shkodran Mustafi gifted possession to the hosts, who cut through their opponents courtesy of superb touches from Cavani and Angel Di Maria, but Adrien Rabiot saw his effort stopped by Koscielny.
But they left the Parc des Princes with a point thanks to Alexis Sanchez’s strike.
There was late drama as Arsenal substitute Olivier Giroud tangled with Marco Verratti in an off-the-ball incident which saw them both sent off by referee Viktor Kassai.
Arsene Wenger spoke in the last week about the maturity of his squad and they certainly showed their steel to take a share of the spoils from a game they could easily have lost by a significant margin.
Wenger went with a blend of youth and experience, the latter of which he claims helped the Gunners to a draw.
“When you start so badly against a team of that quality you need experience,” Wenger said.
“If you are too young, you can be caught. I thought that we didn’t panic, and overall we were resilient enough, and the resilience comes through experience.
“I told the players at half-time that if we keep playing we will come back, because we could see if we had better possession we could score goals.
“Overall, I think it was a good result to come here and not lose and pick up a point.”
Arsenal would undoubtedly had taken a point from the perennial French champions if offered before the game.
That Alexis Sanchez’s late equaliser at the Parc des Princes delivered precisely that should not mask the errors made by the manager. This was a game made for a combative, disciplined midfielder – a Granit Xhaka.
This was a tie built for a positionally aware focal point to lead the line; someone like Olivier Giroud. This was an eminently beatable PSG side made to look almost unstoppable.
Were it not for the wastefulness of Cavani, Sanchez’s strike would have been a mere consolation.
The Gunners deserve credit for securing a draw in difficult circumstances against tough opposition, but not Wenger. Coquelin did not decide the tactics which dictated he would be the club’s main point of attack; Wenger did.
Sanchez did not start himself as a lone striker, despite the growing body of evidence that he simply cannot fulfil such a role; Wenger did.
Santi Cazorla did not choose to combat three PSG central midfielders alone; Wenger asked him to. The Frenchman must accept the blame for starting a woefully out-of-form Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and an Alex Iwobi recently returning from injury.
He must face questioning for not starting his best midfielder in midfield for their most important game of this nascent season.
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