Arsenal recorded their first victory in in four Premier League encounters when they beat Everton 2-0 at Goodison Park on Saturday (19 March) to keep their hopes of winning the title alive, despite it being a long shot. The Gunners are 11 points behind leaders Leicester City – the Foxes have played a game more – with nine games remaining in the season.
Arsène Wenger was delighted with the win and believes the player showed great character under pressure to get the result against an Everton side, who were high on confidence following their win over Chelsea in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.
The French coach reserved praise for one player, Alex Iwobi, who made his first start for Arsenal in Premier League and also scored what turned out to be the winner. He has been a regular with the first team in recent weeks and also started the Champions League clash against Barcelona on Wednesday (16 March).
"He is an intelligent boy who is passionate about the game and wants to learn. He is very humble as well. He is 19 years old. He has been at the club since the age of eight. I was looking at him in training during the season and in pre-season and I liked what he did. After that, he improved very quickly with the first team. Month after month, he developed very well and that is why I integrated him and played him," Wenger said, as quoted by Arsenal's official site.
Apart from the Nigerian forward, the manager also praised Danny Welbeck and Mohamed Elneny by suggesting that the trio have given the team a new found balance in recent games. The England international and the Egyptian were only integrated into the team earlier this year with the former returned from a long-term injury, while the latter was signed from FC Basel in January.
"I believe we have a game based on movement and mobility at a technical level with attacking football. We have to balance that right and sometimes it is not always right. Let's not forget that some players have been out for the whole season so players like Danny Welbeck are just coming back and has not played. Iwobi is just coming into the team. Mohamed Elneny [as well], we brought him in January and he has settled very quickly. They have given us a very good balance in the way we want to play football," the Arsenal manager added.