After yesterday’s humiliating defeat against local rivals Chelsea, Arsene Wenger faced the press. The match was a rather high intensity game, with a number of questionable tackles put in by both sets of players. The highest profile incident however was the altercation between the two managers in the technical area.
The game also saw a classy display by ex-Gunner Cesc Farbegas and some more lethal finishing from Diego Costa. The Arsenal midfield never really got going, and Danny Welbeck was only a pale shadow of the striker in the game against Galatasaray. We didn’t even get a shot on target the whole game, and that just about sums up our day.
Here is what Wenger had to say:
It was a very intense game. Very tight as well. It was about not making a mistake and not giving the first goal away. After that we were 1-0 down. We had good opportunities in the first half and we have to turn these into dangerous situations and finish them. After that in the second half it was all us and we were a bit unlucky (speaking about the handball). We made a mistake on the second goal, and the second goal killed the game off.
He was also vehement that Cahill’s challenge was a red card:
Yes. It wouldn’t surprise you if you watched it again.
The major talking point, however, was the altercation with Mourinho:
No, what is there to regret after that? I wanted to go from A to B and somebody confronted me in between without any sign of welcome. B was Alexis, to see how badly he was injured.
I trust that you will teach me all the moral lessons over the next three weeks and I can accept that. But I’ve been in the game long enough to give it the right weight. I can try to push you and when [I do] you will see what my [pushes are really like]. It was a little one.
On what Mourinho said:
Honestly I don’t listen to what he says.
On whether Koscielny or Welbeck could have been sent off:
Maybe, yes. But I think Oscar was lucky to stay on the pitch because of the repeated fouls he made. He got a yellow card in the 88th minute and he was purposely fouling for the whole game on every break. Ivanovic also made some bad fouls. It’s not down to me.
Speaking about Cesc Fabregas:
He did well but I think in midfield it was very even. At the end of the day it is Hazard and Diego Costa who made the difference.
On Chelsea playing a solid organised game:
I believe we were well organised as well and you do not expect them not to be well organised. They are a physical team and have technical individual players. We knew it would be a game that would come down to little details that were on their side. It was a very even game today. If you look at the number of saves our keeper made today, it was nothing. Their keeper as well. The game was who can take advantage of an opportunity that the other team gives away.
I think we turned up with a strong performance, with a strong spirit and it was down to very little today. They got it. At the moment we are in full confidence as well. It all went well for them, they are a good side – you cannot deny that. It was a very intense game of the top level.
We couldn’t score and they did, so at the end of the day you have to say yes [they were more ruthless].
Wenger needs to regroup the team after the international break in order to keep the title challenge on track. With yesterday’s loss, Arsenal have dropped out of the top four and their season has never really got off the ground. When the players return from the international break, Wenger needs to motivate his team like he never has before. After the FA Cup win last season and the investment in players over the summer, not winning a major trophy this time around could spell the end of Wenger’s career.