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Wenger: No one expected Arsenal to be top after opening-day defeat

Arsene Wenger is proud of his Arsenal team for recovering from defeat to West Ham on the opening day of the Premier League season to go top following a 2-1 win over Everton on Saturday.

With Manchester City and Manchester United facing one another on Sunday, Arsenal moved to the summit of the table after taking the three points against Roberto Martinez’s side.

It is a feat that the coach feels may surprise a number of people given the criticism following their 2-0 loss to West Ham in their first top-flight outing of the campaign.

“Let’s keep going and continue to grow, keep the humility and desire to grow as a team,” Wenger told Sky Sports.

“We lost the first game here at the Emirates and after that no one would have said we would be top tonight.

“When you win such a big game like they did on Tuesday it shows a lot about the mentality of your team. That’s why I’m very proud of my team because they’ve shown the ability to refocus.”

After coming from the bench to score in the 2-0 Champions League win over Bayern Munich, Olivier Giroud replaced Theo Walcott in the starting line-up on Saturday.

The Frenchman was on target once again, and Wenger feels his two key strikers are showing that doubts over their strength in the position were incorrect.

“Giroud came on and made a difference. When he starts he makes a difference,” the coach added.

“There were a lot of questions on our strikers. Giroud and Walcott are outstanding at the moment and that confidence shows.”

Giroud is pleased with the consistency Arsenal are showing and insists the competition between himself and Walcott is healthy.

“It’s nice to win this kind of game after a Champions League game,” Giroud said.

“The main thing is the team is doing well – that’s the best thing for me. As long as we are winning I am pleased with that.

“Me and Theo have a good understanding. He was in good form, now it’s me, so we try and bring our small game to the big machine.”

Sat 24 Oct, 2015
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