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Harvey: Arsenal 'ground down' Göteborg

Published: Wednesday 14 March 2012, 21.09CET
Having seen Arsenal LFC recover to secure a 3-1 quarter-final first-leg win against Göteborg FC, Laura Harvey praised the Gunners' stamina; defeated coach Torbjörn Nilsson was impressed.
by Paul Saffer
from Meadow Park
Published: Wednesday 14 March 2012, 21.09CET

Harvey: Arsenal 'ground down' Göteborg

Having seen Arsenal LFC recover to secure a 3-1 quarter-final first-leg win against Göteborg FC, Laura Harvey praised the Gunners' stamina; defeated coach Torbjörn Nilsson was impressed.

Laura Harvey, Arsenal manager
I thought we fought really hard, first half. We made ourselves hard to beat. Then second half, when they tired, we had them on the ropes and made changes that meant we won the game in a comfortable manner in the end.

I thought we fought really hard, first half. We made ourselves hard to beat. Then second half, when they tired, we had them on the ropes
Laura Harvey
Arsenal are one of the best teams we have ever met since I became coach of this team four years ago
Torbjörn Nilsson

I thought we had the lion's share of possession prior to them scoring. I felt that was their first real attack where we'd looked in any danger at all. So to concede a, so early on and b, having had a good start, we were definitely disappointed. [In the second half] I thought we played a little bit better, we started to grind them down a little bit, then the changes we made gave us a different threat in an attacking option. We were able to get players on the ball higher up the pitch which caused them a problem.

[Alex Scott] did well [as a winger], she had to do a job for the team today. Alex's predominant position is a full-back, but we wanted her to play a specific role today. We're really happy to have her back and she is a massive addition to the squad. She proved that today.

I'm disappointed that Kelly [Smith] has an injury but hopefully it won't be too long she's out, and we managed to get Gemma [Davison] internationally cleared yesterday. To have her for the Champions League was a massive bonus; we didn't think we'd be able to do that. With the three girls we've brought in on top of the squad we already had, we feel we're strong enough to compete on all stages.

Alex Scott, Arsenal midfielder
It was a physical game and they posed a threat. We were not happy with how we started the game; we felt we needed more urgency about us. We had a lot of possession but were not doing anything with it and that's what we spoke about at half-time. So we applied that in the second half and we are happy to have got the three goals. We know the goal was against the run of play and we can't let sloppy goals in like that in the Champions League. So we'll work on getting sharper.

Torbjörn Nilsson, Göteborg coach
Arsenal are one of the best teams we have ever met since I became coach of this team four years ago. We had chances to score two or three, but in the first half Arsenal were much, much better than us, but we had a little bit of luck. The second half was strange because both teams were a little bit tired and they scored two, they should have done that in the first half. So we are disappointed as we thought we could draw 1-1 here, but we made two mistakes and they scored twice.

It was [the squad's] first game together. [Kirsten] Press, the striker, she was dangerous the whole time; she is very fast, so I think she'll be even better in Gothenburg. Anita Asante is a very clever player, she didn't make mistakes but she played as she used to in the USA so she was in the wrong place sometimes – now she knows. I think in Gothenburg we will be in better shape. We normally score at least one, and then we will be close.

Anita Asante, Göteborg midfielder
It was a tough game, we were playing a very good side. They played well and we stayed with them for large parts of the game and created good opportunities, real moments that could have turned it around. Unfortunately it didn't work out in our favour but we're looking to improve on things for the next game. I think it was pretty good for a first game together. We've only had a quick turnaround to try and get things right. We knew it was a big competition with lots of expectation. A week or so together will put us in good stead for the next game.

Last updated: 25/09/14 5.51CET

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