Wenger praises ‘dangerous’ Giroud after Arsenal are held by Fulham
Arsene Wenger praises the improving Olivier Giroud after the Arsenal striker nets brace in six-goal thriller against Fulham
Arsene Wenger reserved praise for Olivier Giroud’s display despite watching his Arsenal side fall further behind in the title race after being held by Fulham.
Wenger’s men had raced into a two-goal lead at The Emirates thanks to Giroud’s header and Lukas Podolski’s close-range finish.
But Dimitar Berbatov nodded home from a corner in the 29th minute, before the Bulgarian teed up Alex Kacaniklic’s 40th-minute equaliser.
Fulham then took the lead in the 67th minute when Berbatov netted a penalty after Mikel Arteta fouled Bryan Ruiz in the box, but Arsenal equalised moments later through Giroud.
The Gunners could have snatched a dramatic win but Arteta missed a last-minute penalty as Wenger’s men were forced to settle for a point, leaving them in seventh place in the table.
“Giroud had a very good game, he had presence and won the long balls,” said Wenger. “He is dangerous and starts to have belief in what he is doing. There were a lot of positives in his game today.”
Wenger believes his side have struggled with fatigue following testing trips to Manchester United and Schalke.
“I believe we had physically some moments in the game today that you could see we have played three tough games – we played Saturday, Tuesday and we needed a little breather,” he continued.
“Some players were a bit jaded before the game. They gave it their all today but Fulham are good going forward, as well.”
Wenger’s side are now 11 points behind Premier League leaders Manchester United and the Frenchman admits the Gunners’ situation is less than ideal.
“That is not an ideal situation,” he said. “We have shown before we can fight and again today that we can fight. There are a lot of positives in our team.
“At the moment, we do not get the points we want. Of course, we now do not have to waste any more time, but I still feel there is good potential in our side.”