• Champions League

Wenger heaps praise on Ramsey

ESPN staff
September 19, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger hailed Aaron Ramsey after yet another goal-scoring performance from the in-form midfielder contributed to the Gunners' hard-fought 2-1 Champions League win at Marseille.

Ramsey is doing his best to overshadow Arsenal's £42.4 million record signing Mesut Ozil as he continues to impress in the heart of the side's midfield, and Wenger was gushing in his praise for 22-year-old.

"He was outstanding and his form is linked to confidence," Wenger told Sky Sports. "For a while, he was getting into the box and not scoring and now every time he is in a good position he scores. Goals can come in cycles. At the moment they are coming for him."

For his part, Ramsey preferred to share the success with his team-mates, but he did say he is revelling in his starring role in an Arsenal midfield full of attack-minded players.

"I'm happy with the way I'm playing at the moment," said Ramsey, who scored his sixth goal of the season at the Stade Velodrome. "I'm getting into positions and I'm putting them away at the moment. I have got into these positions before, but I haven't had the composure.

"This was a big victory. We have a tough group and it was important to get three points and get off to a good start tonight. We came here a couple of seasons ago and won, I got on the score sheet then as well, and I'm sure this will be vital as well.

"The pitch wasn't too good. It was quite sticky and we couldn't get the passing and rhythm going, the quick pace we like to pass the ball at. It was quite difficult, but we kept doing the things we like to do and it paid off in the end."

Wenger added: "Honestly, I didn't expect him to score so many goals. He's especially improved in his passing, his technical quality. He was always in good positions in the box, but scoring is a bit cyclic.

"You have periods when it goes in and others when it doesn't. For me the most important thing is the quality of his game.

"I decided to be patient with him because when you have been injured for such a long time it takes a while to get back to your best. The only thing is, you never know if he will come completely back. But when you are injured before 20, you come back to your normal level and improve like you have not been injured."

Arsenal's latest win secured them a tenth successive victory away from home, inspiring Wenger to suggest it is his backline and not his attack who should take the credit for the run.

"Maybe defensively we are a bit more stable, a bit more serene now and with our offensive quality, we can win games," he said. "We know we have all these players to make something special, but it is a collective effort.

"I knew that this would be a difficult game. It was the first home Champions League game for Marseille, a passionate crowd and opponents who are a good side. Marseille can beat anyone, especially at home.

"It was important for us not to give the first goal away. Marseille had an excellent first half, while we were a bit timid. In the second half, they dropped and we took advantage of that. Overall, it was a victory linked with patience and experience. To start with three points is very positive."

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