Arsenal suffered the most embrassing defeat in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 after a 3-1 loss at home to AS Monaco. Sunday’s match against Everton provided an opportunity for Arsenal to regain confidence.
A response was needed and that they did with goals from French striker Olivier Giroud and Czech Republic midfielder Tomas Rosicky. Giroud had a lot to prove after missing a slew of chances against Monaco however, the Frenchman duly delivered with a first time strike from a Mesut Ozil corner.
The striker thanked his Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, for standing behind him after his poor performance in midweek.
“The manager gave me a big possibility to bounce back and that’s what we wanted to do together. We carry on our good run in the championship even if we’ve been a bit disappointed after the Champions League defeat. We have done well this afternoon and we started the game on the front foot. We created chances and we are pleased with this victory.”
Despite that, Wenger was not as forgiving with the towering German Per Mertesaker. The Arsenal number 4 was dropped for new signing Gabriel after a lackluster display. Gabriel slotted in admirably alongside Koscielny on his debut, mopping any threat from Everton.
The Arsenal manager hailed the Brazilian’s performance after the match.
“He had an encouraging performance overall. He was surprised by the intensity of the challenges once or twice but he made a great tackle against Romelu Lukaku in the first half. He’s highly focused, has a good concentration level and is quick.”
Arsenal’s left back, Kieran Gibbs, spoke about the importance of getting back to winning ways after the Champions League humbling.
“Maybe there was a bit of mental fatigue, we were disappointed with ourselves on Wednesday so it was just a matter of remaining strong and together against a difficult opponent. No match is easy but they pose a lot of threats. Keeping a clean sheet was important and we’ll just keep going.”
1 – Everton have now won only one of their last 11 games in the Premier League. Slump.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 1, 2015
With the top four race coming done to the wire, Arsenal will be glad to return to their winning ways after the flaccid performance against Monaco in the Champions League. Manager Arsene Wenger will be hoping to continue the positive form onto the next set of matches.
(Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)