Wenger’s fears allayed by Giroud, Arsenal


Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admits some misgivings about his club’s momentarily blown lead at Sunderland on Saturday.

The Gunners led 1-0 through Alexis Sanchez, but a Shkodran Mustafi error let Duncan Watmore in on Petr Cech. The goalkeeper had to chop down Watmore, and Jermain Defoe made it 1-1 from the spot in the 65th minute.

[ MORE: Arsenal thumps Sunderland ]

Wenger says he was “worried” the Gunners could lose after giving Sunderland an equalizer, concerned it could be a symptom of unforeseen sickness.

“We had six wins, then one draw at home which was disappointing and a second draw or defeat would have been like we had dropped our level,” Wenger said.

Instead, Wenger introduced Olivier Giroud. The Frenchman responded with his first goal of the season in the 71st minute, and had made it 3-1 with five minutes.

“The manager has an easy credit when he has quality players on the bench and you don’t need to be a special manager to make this decision. It was 1-1 and we had Giroud on the bench.”

Sanchez added his second to make it three goals in 7 minutes, and Arsenal was cruising. The Gunners have handled adversity well this season, and — excusing the opposition — look prepared to get a big job done.