Jack Wilshere was delighted to see Alexis Sanchez get off the mark for Arsenal quickly.
The Chile international scored his first goal for the club in Wednesday night’s tense Champions League play-off victory over Besiktas to settle the tie.
Arsenal, last night went into the game against Besiktas at the Emirates stadium without any of their regular central forward (Olivier Giroud and Yaya Sanogo) starting Alexis Sanchez as a central forward instead. But Wilshere has been impressed with the impact the 25-year-old has made since signing and is happy with the options Arsenal have in attack.
“I think he needed that first goal,” Wilshere told Arsenal Player.
“He’s looked sharp in the games but if you’re a striker, all you want to do is score goals.
“It was a good finish. He had a few chances and he’s got great movement off the ball. He gives us midfielders something a bit different, going in behind.
“He can play [as a central striker], we’ve also got Theo coming back and we’ve got Sanogo on the bench, who has improved so much. We’ve got good options up there.”
Despite creating a number of clear opportunities after the break, Arsenal were indebted to a resolute defensive showing after Mathieu Debuchy was sent off with 15 minutes remaining.
“We had a few chances,” Wilshere said.
“Alexis had a great chance and then Chambo had another great chance. At half-time, we said that we had to keep attacking because one goal would have knocked us out.
“In an ideal world, we would have put them in and been comfortable but we’re never going to do it the easy way. We’re in there and that’s all that matters.
“I thought we were in control until the last 20 minutes. I know it was 1-0 but I felt comfortable and I think the team felt comfortable and we made a few chances as well.
“It wasn’t until Mathieu went off that they caused us a problem. But I think we dealt with it well. We dealt with crosses and the defence was great. Myself, Mathieu [Flamini] and Santi were in there working hard too. We showed great team spirit and hopefully we can continue that.
“We defended well as a unit. Our main principles are to defend well as a team. We know how to play football – that’s our main strength. We know that we will create chances, we always have done and hopefully we can take that into the group stages.”