Swansea came to the Emirates last night with the obvious idea of trying to emulate Chelsea by flooding the midfield and defence to try and stop Arsenal scoring. Like Chelsea they succeeded, but also exceeded the performance of the Champions by scoring the winner through Bafetimbi Gomis five minutes from the end.
Wenger, as usual, prefers to look at the positives and says that we have to prove against Man United next week that this was simply an accident: “We were unlucky I think against a team who refused to play completely and just defended.” Le Prof said on the Arsenal Official website. “It was a question of being patient enough and if we couldn’t win it not to lose it. Overall I was encouraged by the quality that we showed in the second half, but it’s frustrating. When you cannot win a game, don’t lose it.
“We knew exactly what could happen. It was not even a break. We were warned of the kind of goal they could score with Montero kicking the ball in the air and we were short in jumping for the ball. For the rest we rushed our finishing because we had plenty of chances in the second half. It was just a question of scoring a goal.”
Lukasz Fabianski stopped everything Arsenal threw at him, and it looked like it was going to end a 0-0 draw until Gomis leapt onto an easy cross to slip the ball just beyond Ospina’s rushing hands. With both Manchester clubs winning this weekend, Wenger was asked if perhaps the fans and the players were nervous about dropping points? He replied: “I believe you have to deal with that on the pitch and that’s where the players can’t get caught by the anxiety of the crowd. I can understand that the crowd was anxious but on the pitch when the players had the ball that shouldn’t interfere with your finishing.”
“The players want to play in the cup final. The players are very disappointed, they wanted to win the game and overall I believe they put the effort and desire in to win it tonight. We had lapses of concentration at the end and that’s where we were caught.
“I just told you we rushed our finishing. Sometimes we were maybe too eager to finish alone rather than passing the ball. Sometimes we had to force the situation and in the end you have to give them credit – they defended well.”
So our unbeaten run is broken, and if we lose at Old Trafford next week we will be back down to Fourth with just one nervous game in hand to get back into the Top Three. Wenger called for his players to bounce back immediately. “We still have a game in hand. What is crucial is to respond on Sunday and show that it was an accident today. That is the most important thing.”
Arsenal have now had the same Starting XI for five games in a row, I wonder if he will be considering bringing in fresh legs for next weeks visit to Manchester…..