Olivier Giroud out for several months: Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger
- Credit: Debbie White/Archant
Relief was etched on fans’ faces at the successful conclusion of the Gunners’ bid to qualify for the Champions League group stage tonight (Wednesday).
Arsenal, whose players live in or near London Colney, where the team’s training centre is based, beat Besiktas 1-0.
About 60,000 people attended the riveting match at the Emirates Stadium.
And as predicted by club captain Mikel Arteta, still recovering from the injury he received in Istanbul, it was indeed a very physical game.
The Gunners’ loyal followers were clearly on the edge of their seats for most of the match as yellow cards were doled out to the likes of Wojciech Szczesny and Calum Chambers.
Mathieu Debuchy, meanwhile, was sent off with a red card after receiving a yellow in the first half.
Speaking to the press after his team’s win, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger praised the Gunners’ efforts, particularly their technical skills, but admitted the last 10 minutes following Mathieu’s departure were “difficult”.
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Echoing Mikel’s comments, Arsene said Besiktas was “physically very strong”.
Asked about the progress of Olivier Giroud, injured during Saturday’s (23) Barclays Premier League game against Everton (2-2), Arsene said the forward had today had surgery on his broken ankle, and is expected to be out for three to four months.
Predicting what his next question was likely to be from members of the press, Arsene went on: “You are asking me who will we buy? I give my answer: ‘nobody’.”
He praised Jack Wilshere, who lives in Harpenden, saying he was “growing from game to game. He is getting better and better – he has his burst back.”
Asked who stood out from the Besiktas side, Arsene replied that he had been impressed by Atiba Hutchinson.
Arsenal’s next match is against Leicester City on Sunday.