Southampton Point Doesn’t Please Wenger

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Manager Arsene Wenger has said he was pleased with Arsenal’s performance in the second half of the Southampton tie, but he felt we certainly deserved more than a point.

Heading to St Mary’s Stadium for the tie, the hosts took a three minute lead through Charlie Austin, and despite dominating possession and chances we needed an Olivier Giroud effort in the 88th minute to secure a point from the game.

Speaking to the Official Site as he met with the media following the game for his press conference, a disappointed Wenger explained.

‘I`m not happy with the point because I wanted three, but if you cannot win it, don`t lose it. We kept going, we were relentless. After a difficult start we were caught cold and overall it was a windy, rainy afternoon against a team who played well and were quick on the counter-attack. It was important not to concede a second goal and in the end Olivier Giroud helped us at least rescue a point. Considering the quality of the team we faced, it is not so bad.’

Asked what his half time message was.

‘I felt at first that we rushed our game in the final 15 minutes of the first half and started to lose balls in the middle of their goal. We needed to play the way we wanted to play, defend quicker when we lose the ball and to put the ball under much more pressure. In the second half I felt it was one-way traffic, it was very difficult to create clear-cut chances.’

As for the defensive shape on the day, he admitted he was tempted to go back to a flat back four.

‘Yes, and we played a big part of the game with a four today, but away from home recently we`ve done quite well. We`ve won games, but BATE Borisov and Southampton are not of the same calibre, you have to consider that. You had a team on holiday who won the championship two weeks ago and today we played a team who was highly determined and defended every single ball. I must say I am very frustrated as in the second half there was a lot of time wasting. I`m especially frustrated on the final ball on the counter-attack, it is very frustrating to give the advantage to the guy who had the foul because we were not only called back, we were three against one. We played it quick and the referee called the ball back without any reason and that was a huge advantage for Southampton in the final minute.’

Asked the weekly question about Alexis Sanchez.

‘I think in the second half I am happy with his performance. In the first half I feel he played a little bit too deep, we need him a little higher up in the pitch and especially when you dominate the game it is important that he plays in the final third. He is tempted sometimes to drop a little bit deep in midfield. Then when you start 35 yards away from goal, it`s difficult to score.’

As for the Europa League draw, he added.

‘We have some big teams we want to avoid. We will see, we will deal with it and I will pick a team always who has a good chance to pass. Let`s wait, it`s tomorrow I think.’

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