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Wenger stands by Giroud

Last Updated: Thu, 20 Feb 2014 08:58

Arsene Wenger praised Yaya Sanogo's display and says Olivier Giroud was on the bench against Bayern Munich because he needed a rest.

Giroud has hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons over the last couple of weeks following rumours of an alleged affair with a model, and he had to watch from the sidelines as the Gunners lost 2-0 to Bayern Munich on Wednesday night.

Wenger's options to change the game were limited following the dismissal of Wojciech Szczesny, as Lukasz Fabianski had to come on in goal and Kieran Gibbs went off with a hamstring problem.

It meant Giroud was an unused substitute after being overlooked in favour of Sanogo, with Wenger insisting it had nothing to do with Giroud's alleged affair.

"Giroud is a strong character, and what happened doesn't influence his behaviour on the pitch," Wenger said. "I just decided to give him a breather for one or two games, and to give him a chance to come back refreshed.

"Also I wanted to give an opportunity to Sanogo, and I think he did very well."

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