The official website for European football

AZ draw 'felt like victory' to Martens

Published: Wednesday 21 October 2009, 14.00CET
Maarten Martens said AZ Alkmaar's last-gasp 1-1 draw with Arsenal FC felt "like a victory" but the visitors' Bacary Sagna warned that the Gunners could not afford further lapses in concentration.
by Derek Brookman
from Alkmaar
AZ draw 'felt like victory' to Martens
Aaron Ramsey shows his disappointment after Alkmaar's late equaliser ©Getty Images

Match statistics

AZArsenal

Goals scored1
 
1
Attempts on target1
 
8
Attempts off target3
 
2
Corners3
 
4
Offsides4
 
3
Fouls committed18
 
9
Yellow cards1
 
3
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

Last updated: 03/10/2013 16:21 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Wednesday 21 October 2009, 14.00CET

AZ draw 'felt like victory' to Martens

Maarten Martens said AZ Alkmaar's last-gasp 1-1 draw with Arsenal FC felt "like a victory" but the visitors' Bacary Sagna warned that the Gunners could not afford further lapses in concentration.

Victims of a late, late leveller in their previous UEFA Champions League Group H game against R. Standard de Liège, AZ Alkmaar did the same to Arsenal FC when David Mendes da Silva volleyed in a brilliant 93rd-minute equaliser to rescue a 1-1 draw.

Super sub
AZ midfielder Maarten Martens expressed the Dutch champions' relief at salvaging a positive result from an increasingly lost-looking cause when he told uefa.com: "It feels like a victory, even though it's only a point." With the draw lifting Alkmaar clear of bottom-placed Standard and to within four points of Olympiacos FC in second, the 25-year-old Belgian international added: "It's a big point in the battle for second spot. Arsenal may have been marginally better but we did well, particularly in the first half. Luckily we limited them to one goal, and with Graziano Pellè on as a substitute we had an extra option, which paid off when he nodded the ball on for David to score."

Limited chances
A creditable performance by Ronald Koeman's men reduced their recently free-scoring opponents to relatively few openings after Cesc Fàbregas's 36th-minute goal. "We were satisfied with our game plan to begin with, although losing the goal was obviously a big blow," said AZ defender Niklas Moisander, who was dispossessed by Andrei Arshavin in the build-up to Arsenal's breakthrough. "It's a totally different proposition playing against a team of Arsenal's calibre. They have players who can really punish you."

'Typical Arsenal'
Arsenal midfielder Abou Diaby was just as complimentary about the home side. "I think AZ are a very good team," he said. "The way they played, they deserved to score and take something from the game. They were fantastic." The French international also recognised the quality of the visitors' display, adding: "Our goal was typical Arsenal, more or less walking the ball into the net. We practise a lot to develop our quick passing. Cesc is always there, giving a good pass or scoring important goals. He's very good for the team."

Losing focus
However, Gunners defender Bacary Sagna was more critical. "I think it's more a case of two points dropped than one gained," he said. "I don't know why we lost focus, but we have to make sure it doesn't happen again." Asked if he thought his club were still in control of Group H after their lead over Olympiacos was cut to a point, he added: "I don't want to think about it. We just have to make sure we win our next game [against AZ in London]."

Last updated: 21/10/09 11.27CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2010/matches/round=2000028/match=2000410/postmatch/quotes/index.html#az+draw+felt+like+victory+martens

  • © 1998-2014 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The CHAMPIONS LEAGUE and UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE words, the UEFA Champions League logo and trophy and the UEFA Champions League Final logos are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of UEFA.com signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.