Arsene Wenger responded to claims that Laurent Koscielny’s late goal against Burnley was handball in the most Arsene Wenger way possible. The Gunners ran out 1-0 winners against Burnley in the first match of the Frenchman’s 21st year in charge of the club thanks to a rather controversial late foal from the centre back.
It was a frustrating afternoon for Arsenal but the Gunners fans will be delighted with the final result. The late strike from Laurent Koscielny seemed to hit the defender’s hand as it was bundled across the line and Arsene Wenger has responded to the criticisms of the strike.
“I haven’t seen the replay.” Wenger told Sky Sports. “Honestly from the bench I didn’t even see the ball go in, maybe we were a bit lucky there.”
It was a day to celebrate Arsene Wenger’s time at the club so it’s only fitting that he gave the most typical Arsene Wenger response. Overall The Boss seemed pleased with the result and like most Arsenal fans, frustrated with the performance.
“It was a difficult game. I felt we had the merit not to concede, to be patient and to keep going against a team that is very well organised, that played well today with full spirit.
“Overall we lacked sharpness, our legs were heavy today. That was a game we could have won 1-0 or lost 1-0 on set pieces.
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“We make many technical mistakes today in the first half. We wanted to win today, we knew it could be a big week for us and maybe we were playing with the handbrake, not with enough freedom, not with enough combinations, not enough pace to go in behind.
“Is it down to we were below our level or because Burnley defended well? I think a bit of both.”
It could be a massive result for The Gunners in the run of things. Manchester City ran out 2-0 losers to Tottenham Hotspur earlier in the day and Arsenal needed to win to close the gap to two points. Arsene Wenger seemed to agree that this could be a huge result for his side.
“We had a big blow in the first game and when you’re five points behind teams of that quality, of course it’s big and when you have a chance to come closer you can’t miss it.”