Per Mertesacker lifts lid on Arsenal clear-the-air talks ahead of Palace win
Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker says the Gunners needed clear-the-air talks ahead of Crystal Palace win
Per Mertesacker has lifted the lid on Arsenal’s clear-the-air talks ahead of their 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
The Gunners suffered a shock 2-0 loss to West Ham United at The Emirates in their Premier League opener earlier this month.
However, Arsenal bounced back with a steely performance against Palace as Olivier Giroud’s strike and a Damien Delaney own goal in the second half in south-east London.
And Arsenal captain Mertesacker, who moved to The Emirates from Werder Bremen in 2011, was pleased with the FA Cup winners’s display following their shock result against the Hammers.
“Obviously when everything goes very smooth in pre-season, you avoid those talks which are sometimes very important,” Mertesacker told Sky Sports.
“That (the need for those talks) was the case last week when we came out of the (West Ham) match where no one knew exactly what we did, so we just had to come back to our game.
“You could already feel something when you are in the relegation zone (in the table), and not having (produced) in that (West Ham) game what everyone expected from you, so it was important to bounce back.
“Against Palace, it was good possession, to play the ball through the midfield and penetrate them.
“Later (in the game) we made it difficult for ourselves, but overall it was a very encouraging performance from top to bottom. We were dominant and that was the key to our success.
“We were good on the break, good in the combinations, there is a lot more to come from us, that is what we need, that is our game and we need to count on that.”
The north London side made the breakthrough in the first half after Mesut Ozil teed up Gunners striker Olivier Giroud to finish past Alex McCarthy.
Palace defender Joel Ward equalised before half-time, but Damien Delaney deflected Alexis Sanchez’s header past his own goalkeeper to hand victory to Arsenal.
Arsenal face Liverpool in their next Premier League game at The Emirates on Monday night.