• Everton 2-2 Arsenal, Premier League

Giroud a doubt for Champions League crunch clash

ESPN staff
August 23, 2014
Olivier Giroud made a difference as Arsenal rallied to save a point at Everton © PA Photos

Olivier Giroud is a doubt for Arsenal's Champions League qualifier against Besiktas after injuring his ankle in the 2-2 draw against Everton.

The Frenchman came off the bench to complete his side's comeback from 2-0 down at Goodison Park but limped off after levelling.

Manager Arsene Wenger said he is worried the striker could miss the tie, which is level at 0-0 after the first leg, against the Turkish team at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday.

"It is a big game and I hope we have not lost Giroud in the last minute of the game," he told Sky Sports. "It doesn't look too good. In the final minute, he stretched his ankle."

Wenger praised the target man for his contribution and said that Alexis Sanchez, who started as his main striker, both yet to reach full fitness and short of confidence at the moment.

Sanchez, who cost £35 million pounds from Barcelona, is yet to score in four appearances for Arsenal and was replaced by Giroud at half-time.

Wenger added: "At the moment he is not completely ready physically. He knows he is not at his best physically but when he is, his confidence will come back."

He explained Giroud's original omission by saying: "I have more strikers than before so sometimes I can give them a little rest. Giroud has just played one game since the World Cup."

Wenger felt his team were better after his fellow Frenchman came on, explaining: "I knew we were dominating the game in the second half and we needed some physical presence. We looked much more dangerous. We were not in a counter-attacking situation, we were in a dominating position."

The Arsenal manager praised his side for their show of character in coming back after Seamus Coleman and Steven Naismith scored for Everton.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
ESPN staff Close