Arsene Wenger paid tribute to goalkeeper, Petr Cech, after a series of saves made by him earned Arsenal a draw against a resolute Middlesbrough side.

Cech saved from Negredo twice and Ramirez to deny a Middlesbrough a shock victory and his manager was quick to point out his influence after the match.

“They had chances but our goalkeeper saved us. Petr Cech had a good performance in decisive phases,” Wenger said.

“It is a game where you had a lot of possession but there were tired legs and you are prone to counter-attacks,” he explained.

“You make it difficult for yourself. You have 75 per cent possession but you could have lost the game; that is modern football.

“When you are not sharp, you lack creativity in the final third. I must say, we gave everything but we did not have the legs.

“The energy levels were a bit down but we were intelligent enough not to lose it. We were exposed at times. When you cannot win, you must not lose.”

Wenger also admitted to the fact that a player with physical presence and aerial prowess like Olivier Giroud could have been the difference against teams like Middlesbrough who park 10 men behind the ball.

“We didn’t make enough from our set pieces so the first thing that comes in mind is a guy with physical presence would have helped,” he said.

“We have just come out of six [seven] straight wins so I wouldn’t want to jump on this kind of excuse. We are used to scoring as we are an offensive team but in the end we didn’t score.

“It’s part of the Premier League. We have to find a way to be efficient when the games are like that.”


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