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Wenger hails defensive solidity

Arsene Wenger hailed Arsenal’s defensive solidity as he recorded a first win over Jose Mourinho to lift the Community Shield on Sunday.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s solitary goal was decisive at Wembley as Arsenal retained the Shield with a 1-0 victory over Premier League champions Chelsea, new signing Petr Cech able to keep a clean sheet against his former club.

Wenger was pleased with the effort on show in the curtain-raiser and hopes his new defensive line-up, led by Cech, can build on their impressive end to the 2014-15 campaign.

“We have suffered physically [at times] today, the pitch was not great,” Wenger told BT Sport. “We got 1-0 up but perhaps fought too much to protect our lead. 

“But overall it is good, throughout pre-season we have been solid defensively, it is a good place [to be] ahead of the new championship.

“Pre-season has gone quite well, we have built on the continuity of last season. We have a good spirit.”

The performance of Cech impressed Per Mertesacker, the central defender heaping praise on Arsenal’s new goalkeeper after his assured display.

Mertesacker added: “He has so much experience, he gives us a huge boost before the season, his contribution massive, but let’s not expect too much.

“It’s another win, we’ve played a decent pre-season so far, it’s good prep for [the] first game. It says nothing but is a title for us, it keeps confidence high. We are pretty happy with our performance.”

Sun 2 Aug, 2015
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