Date: 4th January 2017 at 10:38am
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Manager Arsene Wenger has spoken about Arsenal’s disastrous performance against Bournemouth last night, before a sterling late end to the game.

Travelling to Dean Court to face off against Eddie Howe’s side, Wenger had already made his thoughts clear on the festive scheduling that took place this year and with all fixtures bar Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea now played, Wenger is far from alone in airing complaints, and clearly it can be argued fatigue hit as we found ourselves three goals down – but that shouldn’t detract from some woeful play and defending.

From 70 minutes onwards though with goals from Alexis Sanchez, Lucas Perez and Olivier Giroud, the game ended on a much greater high than many thought possible at the half time break for a start.

Speaking to the Official Site in his post game press conference following the three all draw, Wenger explained.

‘I thought we suffered defensively. They looked sharper than us at the start. It took us a while to get into the game and you could see they had better recovered than us – that was predictable. It`s difficult to say whether it was down to tiredness. I could see we were not at our usual level. I believe that we were not on even ground with our opponents, that is for sure, in the preparation of the game.’

Wenger went on to say.

‘We were a bit unlucky as well, I think penalty or not a penalty? after on the third goal we were unlucky again. But we have to cope with it and I think we responded very well. I felt that it was a mental test for us to fight back. We have shown an outstanding fighting spirit to come back and it shows great resilience and a refusal to lose the game – that is quite positive.’

Speaking more about the performance and their start compared to our finish, he had to praise the attitude of the players to come back into the match in the manner they did – as we could’ve nicked it at the end as well.

‘Yes, it was a physical test and a mental test for us. A physical test because we had problems to start to cope with the pace of Bournemouth. Defensively we had some problems and I think you have to acknowledge the quality of Bournemouth – congratulations to them. But as well, it`s too uneven to have only two days to play against a team with over three days rest. It took us a while to get back into the game. On top of that, we were a bit unlucky as well – to concede a penalty and after the third goal, for us, with 70 minutes played we were 3-0 down. So it was a mental test, but we succeeded because we have a great resilience in the team and great mental strength and that came out. In the end you are even frustrated not to win the game. We missed some opportunities in the end. A corner into the hands of the goalkeeper, instead of taking an in-swinger we should`ve taken an out-swinger, these are the details that you have to keep composure and play until the last minute. That`s down to keeping your head cool.’

Asked about what the result meant for title hopes in the Premier League this season, well one point was better than nothing especially in light of the circumstances.

‘We don`t really speak about us and we do not look around us at the moment. Your team is doing well but you can still lose it, so it`s just down to the other teams to continue to fight.’

And asked directly for a comment on the scheduling, Wenger repeated he just wanted it to be fair for all sides.

‘Look, I am ready to play tomorrow again as long as we play against an opponent who has played today as well. That is what I call fair. All the rest, we have to play when we are told to play but we want to play against a team with the same time of rest and preparation that we have.’

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