Wenger hails ‘remarkable’ Chambers and gives his verdict on Sanchez after Arsenal beat Palace
20:43 16 August 2014
2014 Getty Images
Arsene Wenger praised new signings Calum Chambers and Alexis Sanchez after Arsenal’s late 2-1 win over Crystal Palace at the Emirates Stadium.
Aaron Ramsey’s injury time strike won it for Arsenal, but they had to battle back from a goal down after Brede Hangeland put Palace ahead before Laurent Koscielny’s eqauliser.
Wenger was relieved to come away with three points against the Eagles - who were without a manager following Tony Pulis’ departure - and the Frenchman was pleased to start the Premier League campaign with a victory.
“The plan was to win the game but because of the physicality and the organisation level of Crystal Palace, it was very difficult for us,” Wenger said.
“We conceded a goal from the first corner they had and we still lack a bit of pace in the final third to change what we build up.
“But we kept going and in the end it was enough to win the game. We are the only team that has won at home so that shows you that it’s difficult for everybody on the first day of the season. We got the three points, let’s focus now on [the Champions League qualifier against] Besiktas.”
Arsenal’s starting line-up featured three new faces, and Wenger was particularly pleased with Chambers, who produced an assured display alongside Laurent Koscielny in central defence.
“I must say honestly we bought him as a right-back but in my opinion he could play centre back,” the Frenchman said.
“I tried it in pre-season and from game to game he becomes stronger. Today was a remarkable performance.”
Sanchez, meanwhile, cut a busy figure in attack and Wenger was pleased with the Chilean’s display.
“I’m very happy with his attitude because he kept fighting for 90 minutes even though he’s not completely ready physically.
“Tactically, he needs to improve his understanding with his partners, but he looked lively and dangerous until the end. I am happy with his overall attitude and performance.”
Wenger also praised match-winner Ramsey, saying: “There is no coinsidence in scoring goals. He turned up when you need to be in the box. He scored last Sunday [against Manchester City], and he scored today again at the very important moment of the game.”