Wenger praise for Coquelin

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Published: Sunday 12th April 2015 by The News Editor

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Arsene Wenger singled out Francis Coquelin for special praise after the French midfielder’s match-winning display kept the Gunners’ slim Barclays Premier League title hopes alive.

The 23-year-old’s distributive qualities were plain to see as Aaron Ramsey’s 12th-minute opener proved enough for Wenger’s men to secure a 1-0 win over gutsy Burnley which moves them back within four points of leaders Chelsea.

Wenger clearly believes Coquelin encapsulates the new breed of Arsenal players who have shone in recent months and helped his side belatedly emerge as the major challengers to Jose Mourinho’s men.

Wenger said: “He (Coquelin) showed quality in winning the ball and passing it quickly and he was very strong in the challenges.

“He contributes well to the balance of the team and that’s very difficult to measure. The balance sometimes depends on one player who has some of the characteristics that others haven’t got.”

Wenger reserved rare praise for Sean Dyche’s side, insisting it would be a “shame” to see them go down after a defeat which leaves the Clarets two points away from safety.

While Wenger’s words will do no harm to Burnley’s confidence levels there is no mood of resignation as Turf Moor gears up for the increasingly tight relegation run-in.

Having survived virtually unscathed from a nightmare run of fixtures against the big clubs, the Clarets can now view the rest of the campaign as a series of eminently winnable ties.

A fine second half display saw George Boyd and Danny Ings miss good chances and even left Wenger to concede he thought a home equaliser might arrive.

Clarets midfielder Kieran Trippier exemplified the positive mood in the camp by insisting the fact his side have been written off for much of the season can serve them well in the weeks ahead.

Trippier said: “We knew it was going to be difficult moving into this league and people were writing us off but we’re still there, we’re still fighting and we’ve got six massive games to come now.

“We give everything and that’s the thing about our team – we’ve got a spirit and our belief is so strong, and every game we play we give everything.

“We’re disappointed we didn’t come out with a point in the end. We gave a bad goal away but that’s the difference in this league – you give chances to Arsenal and they will put them away.”

Published: Sunday 12th April 2015 by The News Editor

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