Mustafi hails Arsenal speedster Sanchez

New Gunners defender Shkodran Mustafi has hailed the workrate of Alexis Sanchez, after the Chilean rescued a draw for Arsenal in their Champions League opener.

Mustafi endured a tough night from Edinson Cavani against PSV on Tuesday night but hailed the performance of Sanchez, who struck with 12 minutes to go to seal a 1-1 draw.

“I think in football today, modern football, it is not as static as it was and that’s what makes the game so quick and so difficult,” Mustafi told Arsenal Player.

“If you are a defender, you have to run all over the pitch to chase your striker and it is always difficult. I think we all know Alexis has qualities and he knows where to stand to give the opponent a difficult game. You have to give him credit for that.”

Meanwhile Olivier Giroud believes Arsenal drew on previous experience to help them come from a goal behind and salvage a point in their Champions League opener in Paris.

Cavani headed the hosts in front inside a minute as it looked like the Gunners were in for a long night. But they hung on, with goalkeeper David Ospina in fine form, and Alexis Sanchez struck with 12 minutes to go to seal a 1-1 draw.

Giroud came off the bench with Arsenal chasing the game but was sent off in stoppage time, picking up a second yellow card for an incident with Marco Verratti — who was also dismissed.

But the France striker, who has yet to start a game this season, feels the squad at the Emirates Stadium is good enough to reach their goals by the end of the campaign.

“We started this game with the goal in the first minute but we tried to keep going and keep playing our game,” he said.

“Even if we conceded some chances to score, we could have won this game at the end of the day but I think it is a good point.

“We have learned from our previous mistakes so we were stronger at the back. Even if they had a lack of efficiency, we are pleased to come back in this game.

“It is too early to say that [Arsenal can win the Champions League] but I have a big confidence in this group and if we keep going, working hard all together, I think we can achieve our target.

“We want to go as far as we can. It is going to be step by step. It is a good point we took here and let’s see what we can do against Basel and Ludogrets. Afterwards we are going to play Paris at home.”

Giroud confessed to being shocked at his late red card for what was an off the ball incident with Verratti.

He said: “I was very surprised by the behaviour of Verratti. I got booked — the first yellow card was not a foul.

“It was the defender who made the foul so I was disappointed and I think it was not fair. The second one, I didn’t understand why Verratti got down on the grass. The ref didn’t even see what’s happened.

“Afterwards, Marquinhos pushed me from behind and after another time on the ground. I didn’t understand why [I was sent off] — I was a bit surprised but I am very pleased with the result.”

Arsene Wenger confessed he had not seen the coming together which led to the dismissals but told both players to protest their innocence to referee Viktor Kassai.

“The ball was on the other side. I didn’t see,” the Arsenal boss said. “The first yellow card was very harsh, not even a foul. The second, he tells me he has done nothing at all.

“Olivier is honest so I believe him. Verratti also told me he did nothing. I told them both to go to the referee and tell him they’d done nothing.”


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