Wenger praise for ‘ex­cep­tional’ striker

Yorkshire Post - Sports Monday - - FOOTBALL -

PREMIER LEAGUE: Arsene Wenger hailed Danny Wel­beck as “ex­cep­tional” as the Ar­se­nal for­ward scored a late win­ner to con­demn rel­e­ga­tion-threat­ened Southamp­ton to de­feat at the Emi­rates Sta­dium.

Char­lie Austin came off the bench to equalise for Saints with his first touch af­ter Shane Long’s ear­lier ef­fort had been can­celled out by goals from Pierre-Em­er­ick Aubameyang and Wel­beck.

But Wel­beck was on hand to score a sec­ond of the af­ter­noon and se­cure a 3-2 win for Ar­se­nal – who have won six games in a row for the first time this sea­son – as a fiery end to the game saw both sides fin­ish with 10 men as Jack Stephens and Mo­hamed El­neny saw red.

Wel­beck had not scored in the Premier League since Septem­ber and had an in­jury lay­off ear­lier in the sea­son.

That was on the back of two se­ri­ous knee prob­lems which cur­tailed his ca­reer – al­though this match-win­ning brace could prove the lat­est part of a re­cov­ery story which could end with a place in Eng­land’s World Cup squad.

“Danny Wel­beck is get­ting sharper, be­cause he has been out for a while,” said Wenger.

“He had every rea­son to feel sorry for him­self and think this moun­tain is too big to climb. He had the right knee, the left knee, a year out both times, but he worked hard, which is un­no­ticed by ev­ery­body.

“Peo­ple were ques­tion­ing if he’d come back or not, that is the most dif­fi­cult test for any sportsper­son. I be­lieve what he has done is ex­cep­tional.”

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