Belfast Telegraph

Wenger hails Djourou display

Samir Nasri may have stolen the headlines but Arsene Wenger also paid tribute to Johan Djourou for helping Arsenal go top of the Barclays Premier League with a nervy win over Fulham.

Nasri scored both Gunners goals with two flashes of genius at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday but Djourou helped ensure his side conceded only one after replacing the concussed Laurent Koscielny with almost an hour still to play.

Manager Wenger said: "He is doing very well, Johan."

Arsenal had wasted a succession of chances to score more than Nasri's sublime opener when Koscielny was hurt in a sickening clash of heads with centre-back partner Sebastien Squillaci.

Fulham took full advantage of the carnage to equalise through Diomansy Kamara and gave as good as they got for the remainder of the game.

That they failed to score again owed a lot to Switzerland defender Djourou, who is still being eased back into the first team after spending a year out with a serious knee injury.

Wenger added: "You know, he has been out for a year. As you have noticed, I rotate him a little bit because we do not want to lose him.

"A guy who has been out a year, you cannot play him three games per week. But, from the start of the season, he is as well going from strength to strength.

"In the difficult period of our team - when we had to defend in the air - he was dominant. And he has not only shown dominance, but personality as well.

"That's why I'm happy. He came here as a midfielder and we transformed him into a centre-back, and I believe he can be a very good centre-back."


From Belfast Telegraph