Arsene Wenger has admitted that he feared that Arsenal’s failure to kill the game off would come back to haunt them in their victory over Crystal Palace this afternoon.
The Gunners bounced back from their disappointing opening-weekend defeat to West Ham United with a 2-1 win at Selhurst Park, with Damien Delaney’s own goal separating the sides.
“Our fluency was good in the first half and our mental response was good at 1-1,” Wenger told BBC Sport.
“It was a bit scary to look at the chances we missed – you thought we would be punished after that but we dug in and hung on in the last 10 minutes, and that too is important in the season.”
Alexis Sanchez started for the first time this season, heading the ball onto Delaney for Arsenal’s winner, although Wenger acknowledged that the Chilean attacker is still not yet at peak fitness.
He added: “Alexis Sanchez has only had two weeks of training but still he had the mental resources to score us a vital goal today. We know it’s not a 100%-fit Sanchez but a 100%-motivated Sanchez, and that at times can be enough.”
Olivier Giroud opened the scoring for the Gunners with a well-taken volley, before defender Joel Ward restored parity for Palace 12 minutes later. Delaney’s own goal came 10 minutes into the second half.
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