Shkodran Mustafi was in the right place at the right time score the opener in Arsenal’s 3-2 win over Crystal Palace and the Arsenal centre-back was buzzing after registering his first away goal of the season.
“I showed my striker’s instinct there! I was happy to score and it was important to go ahead because, when you come to places like this and go 1-0 down, the game becomes even more difficult. It was important to go ahead and I think that was the most crucial thing,” Mustafi told the media after the Gunners’ win.
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Andros Townsend equalised for the hosts early on in the second-half before a quick-fire double from Alexis Sanchez gave Arsenal a 3-1 lead.
James Tomkins would reduce the deficit with a minute left to ensure a jittery ending to a tie which Arsenal dominated and Mustafi was asked how comfortable he felt at the back playing against a side that have starkly different style than theirs.
“It’s always difficult when you come to places like this, when you have to adapt to different football. Our idea of football is different because we use short-passing play, but when you come here you have to adapt to their game, especially when you don’t have the ball. We did well.”
Crystal Palace striker Christian Benteke is among the most physical forwards in the English top-flight and his battle with Mustafi was a delight for neutrals, but the German came out on top as he managed to keep the Belgian under wraps for most parts.
“We conceded the first one, which was a little bit unlucky, and the second one we should have defended the corner a little bit better. Overall, we did well,” Mustafi added.
Arsenal drew level with fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur on a day when Arsene Wenger competed 810 league games in charge, a joint-record the French tactician shares with former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson, and the Gunners will look to build on their win when they take on West Bromwich Albion next on Sunday.