Olivier Giroud has called for Arsenal to be focused from kickoff after his late winner saw the Gunners come from behind to survive an FA Cup scare with a 2-1 win at Championship side Preston.
Arsene Wenger’s men were fortunate not to trail by more than Callum Robinson’s early strike at half-time after being run ragged by the fired-up hosts at Deepdale.
Aaron Ramsey equalised soon after the restart and Arsenal, much improved in the second half, snatched victory when Giroud claimed his fourth goal in four games in the 89th minute.
Preston North End
“We wanted to start the game better than the last game in Bournemouth. Unfortunately they surprised us with their commitment and we were not on our game,” Giroud, who scored a last-gasp equaliser as Arsenal came from 3-0 down to draw at Bournemouth last time out, told BT Sport 2.
“We wanted to bounce back in the second half and show some character. We did it with an early goal in the second half from Aaron, a nice goal, and we pushed at the end and one more time we scored in the last minute. One more time we showed a very strong team character.
“We want to start the games better. They put a lot of intensity in the duels and all the team was beaten so it was not Arsenal. We wanted to come together in the second half. We need to start the game better.”
Ramsey knew Preston would pose a stiff test but was pleased to put an end to his goal scoring drought. The goal against North End was the Wales international’s first of the season.
“I’ve played in the Championship and I know how difficult every game is,” the 26-year-old said. “They proved that in the first half and took us by surprise, their level of commitment and effort, and we didn’t match that.
“In the second half we needed to have a different attitude out there and I think we showed that. Obviously it was nice to get on the scoresheet finally and it gave us a bit of momentum to go forward and win the game with a late winner from Ollie.”