Arsene Wenger described Saturday’s 3-1 victory over Watford as “very encouraging.” First half goals from Santi Cazorla, Alexis Sanchez, and Mesut Özil helped The Gunners secure a 3-1 win over Watford (via Arsenal.com).
Match: Watford v Arsenal
Stadium: Vicarage Road
Kick Off (GMT): Sat 27 Aug 15:00
It was by far the best performance of the season so far. Arsenal looked absolutely excellent at times during the first half, easing to a three goal cushion over their London rivals. Watford pulled one back in the second half but an impressive Gunners defence saw off the match to secure all three points.
“I think overall the performance was a strong one.” Wenger said in his post-match press conference. “We were 3-0 up at half-time and in the second half we still created many chances but we missed something in the final ball, like we did at Leicester.
“We are not capable in the end to maintain completely for 90 minutes exactly the same intensity physically, but overall it’s a very encouraging performance and a good win.”
Arsenal had to dig deep in the last thirty minutes after Roberto Pereyra curled one in for the home deep but the back five saw Arsenal through. “Watford went absolutely for it because we couldn’t score the fourth goal.” Wenger said. “We dropped physically and I think that we win games here but they are physically very strong, very determined.
“For us it’s always a tricky game. They are just over the fences [at the training ground] and against us they are always really up for it.”
Wenger had particular praise for Mesut Özil. The attacking midfielder was making his first start of the season but still shone for The Gunners, scoring the third goal. “I think what we’ve seen from him today is what we want from him,” Wenger told Arsenal.com. “To give assists but he is going to score goals. So I am very happy that he scored today because that is what he is trying to add to his game.”
The Boss also singled out Granit Xhaka. The Swiss midfielder looked excellent in the centre of the park alongside Santi Cazorla. “Xhaka has a good touch on the game.” The Frenchman said. ”He is calm, his passing is effective, he has a left foot as well so he can find as well the opposite side sometimes. He’s good on the ball and he wants the ball and he’s shown physical strength in his locker and he’s adapted very quickly.”
Overall Arsenal can be very pleased with the performance and result today. The football The Gunners played was exceptional at times and although a number of players tired towards the second half, Laurent Koscielny and particularly Rob Holding were dominant in the centre of defence.