It was a pretty much rough day at the office for the Gunners as they dropped two important points which can decide their position at the league table after the end of the season. Arsenal drew at the Boleyn Ground in east London, Wenger needed all three in order to keep their title race on.
“First of all because he is good in the air. We lost a bit of urgency when we were 2-0 up after 43 minutes. We had a good game today but a bad result. We played with a weakness that is redundant in the season. If you look at the goals we have conceded since the start of the season, [most of them] are headers in our box. That happened today.” Said the Gunners boss after the match was over.
Thanks to Mesut Özil and Alexis Sanchez, as they doubled Arsenal’s lead and made it 2-0. An early lead is not always considered as one of the greatest situations in football as you need to be more focused to hold on to that lead. Then Andy Carroll happened! In the span of just 10 minutes, he replied with three unanswered goals, which drained Arsenal’s all confidence and momentum, made their moral very low. But luckily for the Gunners, before the final whistle an Özil delivery resulted in a Laurent Koscielny goal to level it up and the match ended at 3-3.When asked about Carroll’s aerial threat the Frenchman said:
When asked about Carroll’s aerial threat the Frenchman said:
“Why did we struggle with Carroll? Because he’s good in the air,”
“Yes. But that does not mean we have to concede headers if he stays on the pitch. We have to look at ourselves and we cannot influence the decision of the referee.”
“No, I didn’t expect him to start at all. He has not played in the last five or six games.”
Wenger had wanted his men to attack very hard, but without the height of Per Mertesacker in the central defense, it was tough for Arsene’s side to deal with all those vicious crosses, which resulted in two of Carroll’s all three goals. For a team like Arsenal which should be fighting for the top slot in the Barclays Premier League season, degradation of quality aerial defending throughout the match is a definite cause for the concern of the manager. It went from bad to worse.
About Ospina Wenger said:
“The thinking [behind choosing Ospina] was that he has had some outstanding performances. With Petr Cech or David Ospina, we have exactly the same problem in the air. We didn’t concede in the last two games. Since the beginning of the season, we have had exactly the same problem, no matter who plays.”
About the current situation of the Gunners he added:
“We are third on 59 points and that’s not where we want to be,” he said. “We have made it much more difficult to have a chance to win the championship but no matter, we have to keep going.”