Per Mertesacker was once again his unique mixture of calmness and command in Sunday’s win over Crystal Palace, but says there is more to come from the Gunners.
Arsenal haven’t yet kept a clean sheet this season but, with Per in the kind of form he displayed at Selhurst Park, that can’t be too far away. The German was a dominant presence as Arsenal stuck it out in the final minutes to leave with all three points.
Defeat to West Ham United in the opening game of the season was a setback and made the game against Alan Pardew’s side even more important, but Arsenal delivered.
“It was important to bounce back,” said the German after the game. “We started really well, had a couple of great chances in the first 10 minutes and could have scored earlier.
“We made it difficult for ourselves, but overall it was a very encouraging performance from top to bottom.”
Arsenal had to take the lead twice after Joel Ward’s goal cancelled out Olivier Giroud’s opener, but that was no issue. A second equaliser never looked likely with Mertesacker clearing the danger at every opportunity.
“We looked quite good defensively, but it was a good goal from them with no chance for Petr [Čech]. After that, we came back, then they had a chance at the start of the second half [that hit the post] and that kept us in the game. Then we started to play again and created some good chances.”
The winning chance was taken by Alexis Sánchez – and helped into the net by Damien Delaney – and Arsenal didn’t need another.
The result was hardly in doubt once Arsenal were ahead, and more of the same throughout the season would be very nice indeed.