IN AWE: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger
IN AWE: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger KERI MEGELUS

Wegner overwhelmed by Sydney crowds

ARSENAL manager Arsene Wenger says he is in awe of the massive crowds his club has seen in Australia.

The Gunners scored a dominant 2-0 win over Sydney FC in front of more than 80,000 fans at ANZ Stadium on Thursday night, and on Saturday face the Western Sydney Wanderers at the same venue.

"Thank you to the crowd for 80,000 people turning up to a game like that," Wenger said after the clash with the Sky Blues. "We are very, very thankful and of course it shows how incredible sport is in Australia and how incredible the support we have here is.

"Absolutely fantastic to see that.

"We haven't come here for 40 years so at least ... we saw what kind of support we have in Australia."

Captain Per Mertesacker opened the scoring within four minutes against Sydney FC, before substitute and Arsenal record signing Alexandre Lacazette doubled the lead.

Arsenal had numerous golden chances to kill off the game completely, which included a controversially awarded spot-kick that was taken by Danny Welbeck and saved by Andrew Redmayne.

After the match the Arsenal manager said he was impressed by Sydney's ability to hang on.

"They didn't die physically and the quality of their organisation," said Wenger in the post-match press conference.

"Overall, I think, they played in an intelligent way for the whole game.

"I was surprised by how well they defended in their final third.

"We really had to push to create clear cut chances in the first hour.

"You could see that we had the physical superiority in the pace, power and for them not to pay a heavy price for that; they were intelligent."

Saturday July 15: Western Sydney Wanderers v Arsenal, 8pm