Arsene Wenger may have cut a frustrated figure on the Old Trafford touchline for most of the game between Arsenal and our Premier League rivals yesterday, but it was the Frenchman who was the happeir of the two managers when the final whistle blew, as the disgusted expression on the face of Jose Mourinho told all too clearly.
In his comments to Sky Sports after the match, the Arsenal boss declared himself very happy with the way his players applied themselves and dug in to deny the home side any more than one goal and then showed the fighting spirit to battle back for a valuable point.
Wenger said, “The result in the end is positive because we were 1-0 down with two minutes to go. For the rest I think it was a bit scrappy with two teams who were well organised to defend well.
“We didn’t manage enough to get them out of position. Our game was not quick enough in our passing and our penetration was not there as it can be.
“In the first half we had good possession but not many chances, and in the second half we suffered in the first 20 minutes. We came out of the dressing room and they deserved to be in front.
“At least we had a good mental response to come back with a point.”
I know that a lot of Arsenal fans, and I am one of them, will be disappointed with the way we played and failed to exert any of our usual attacking threat. Having said that, I think we can take the way we fought as a big positive ahead of the midweek clash with PSG.
Arsenal do not need to beat the French champions after all, as a draw will be enough to keep us on top of the group and as long as PSG do not score more than once then they will have to make up a three point goal difference in the final match to knock us off top spot.
The onus will be on the French team and hopefully this will allow us the space in behind to hurt them with counterattacks. So should we be looking forward to Wednesday with confidence that the defensive side of our game is strong enough to get us a result?