Wenger hails Arsenal's 'mental strengths' in Fenerbahce win

The Gunners boss is delighted with the resilience and determination showed by his team as goals from Kieran Gibbs, Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud snatched a decisive advantage

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger praised his team’s “mental strengths” after their convincing win over Fenerbahce on Wednesday.

Goals from Kieran Gibbs, Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud saw the Gunners claim a 3-0 victory in the first leg of their Champions League play-off in Turkey and the Frenchman hailed his side for the way in which they dealt with a hostile atmosphere at the Sukru Saracoglu Stadyumu.

“This team has shown a lot of mental strengths. I told you yesterday and you forget that this team has only lost one game since March – and under very special circumstances,” Wenger told reporters.

“With the environment we faced, it was difficult but there is only one way to do it, go out there and play football like we want to play.”

Defender Laurent Koscielny was rushed to hospital with a serious head injury after being kicked in the face by Fenerbahce striker Pierre Webo.

Arsenal overcame that setback with three second-half goals, including Giroud’s 77th-minute penalty, which put them into a commanding position heading into the second leg, and, despite having to wait 51 minutes for the opening goal, Wenger felt that his team were always in control of the contest.

“I believe we played in a very heated atmosphere against a good team but we had a proactive attitude from the first minute on and that certainly was very important,” the Gunners boss enthused.

“We didn’t come in shaky, we came in resolute and determined with the desire to take the game to them and overall we were in control.”

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