Date: 5th February 2017 at 10:14pm
Written by:

Manager Arsene Wenger has been giving his thoughts following Saturday’s defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Losing the game three one on the day and Olivier Giroud’s stoppage time goal being nothing more than scant consolation on the day, the result certainly threw massive doubt on title aspirations this year given the gap Chelsea now hold at the top of the table, but Wenger did feel hard done by in the build up to the opening goal because of the clear foul he saw.

Speaking to the Official Site as he met with the media post game, Wenger was adamant it was a foul on Hector Bellerin.

‘Of course it was a foul. But he allowed the goal and after that I think it was much more difficult for us. We were 1-0 down and Chelsea are very good at defending and very strong in transition, on the counter-attack. We paid for that. If you look at the goals we conceded, it`s all that. We were maybe not good enough in possession to make our game more dangerous. We lost many balls in positions you can`t afford to lose it when you play teams who are good on the counter-attack. Overall look at all their shots – our keeper had not a lot to save today, even if I concede that we did not create enough as well in the final third. It was a kind of game that Chelsea love and they mastered that very well.’

With Bellerin substituted on the 17 minute mark, Wenger added.

‘Yeah, the decision was very quick but you have to respect that. It`s the head and I think one of the conclusions from the game today is that referees are much more severe with tackles on the ground and let much more go with elbows in the face. It`s not only today but in many, many games I see that. It`s more dangerous to hit the head than the legs.’

Pressed on whether Bellerin was knocked out and concussed, he added.

‘Yes. Was he completely knocked out? He didn`t know the result of the game. At the time he didn`t see the goal.’

With 14 games remaining in the Premier League campaign of 2016/17, questions were also asked about what defeat meant for title hopes and he knew all we could do now was try and ensure we took a maximum return from the remaining matches to ensure that if Chelsea slip up, we put ourselves into a position to take advantage of that.

Asked about Chelsea, he said.

‘They look at the moment in full confidence, powerful, strong, they don`t concede goals. It`s for them to lose it. They are in the best position, they don`t play in Europe, they can wait every week for the next game and prepare properly. They are in a very, very strong position.’

As for where that leaves Arsenal specifically.

‘It leaves us to focus and prepare to win the next game and that`s what football is about. I`ll leave that to you. For me it`s very difficult to come out individually on players after a big disappointment like that. Certainly individually we were not at our best in some positions and it`s very difficult to speak about that straight after the game.’

Asked about watching such a key game from the stands following his touchline ban, Wenger ended by saying.

‘It is very frustrating because I prefer to do my job like I want to do it, but I have to pay for what I did and I accept it. We have to get on with it and I especially have to get on with it. It`s frustrating to watch from upstairs because you sit in the middle of people. They call on the phone, they stand up, they get down…but I don`t think that is an explanation of our defeat today.’

Arsenal Blogger
Join The Vital Debate