LONDON – Arsene Wenger praised Aaron Ramsey’s improved finish after the Arsenal midfielder scored an impressive brace in Thursday’s 4-1 win over CSKA Moscow in their quarterfinal first leg Europa League final.
Ramsey put Arsenal ahead with a well-placed ninth-minute strike, then made it 3-1 with the night’s goal, when he met Mesut Ozil’s cross with a perfectly executed side lob on goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev.
He could easily have pulled off a hat trick but missed two good chances in the second half, first landing a rebound high over the bar, then hitting the post with a curling shot from the edge of the box.
And Wenger said the Welsh international is showing some of his best form since his breakout season in 2013-14 after having managed to remain largely injury-free in recent months.
“For Aaron Ramsey, it’s always the same, [he needs to] have a constant presence on the team without being arrested, ”Wenger said at a press conference. “Personally, I think he overcame his problems. He no longer has any injury problems.
“And when you can play game after game, you can see that not only is he a lot involved in building the game, but he goes all the way.
“And what’s changed since 2013, he’s a much better finisher these days. He’s calmer, the way he finishes, you see he’s made up. Before, he was rushing his finish a bit.”
Alexandre Lacazette also scored a brace in the first half on his first start since returning from minor knee surgery as the Gunners put in at least one foot in the semifinals. Wenger, however, said the Russian side made things “uncomfortable” for his team and insisted the draw was not over.
“It was a spectacular first half played at a high pace but also uncomfortable for me as they also looked dangerous,” said Wenger. “We scored some great goals in the first half, and at half the goal was not to concede, and if possible to add another one. We did the first part of the job in the second half. -time, but not the second part of the job.
“But on the other hand, it will help us to focus completely on the second game and not feel like it’s a done job. We know it’s not over. We have to go there with the right focus. and try to win the game.…
“They played in a very attacking style. We are not used to seeing that in the Emirates. In the Premier League, the teams come here and they play in their half and they are waiting for us. They attacked us, and so on. was uncomfortable. “
Wenger also praised Mesut Ozil after the German playmaker produced two more assists and also won a penalty which was held back by Lacazette.
“He appreciates [this stage]. And I hope you like it because you see a great soccer player, “said Wenger.” And when you like soccer, that’s what you want to see “