Date: 7th November 2016 at 10:35am
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Manager Arsene Wenger has been giving his thoughts on the derby tie against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday and admitted the second half penalty award to the visitors changed the momentum in the game.

Hosting Mauricio Pochettino’s side at the Emirates for the match, Arsenal took the lead through a Wimmer own goal and in the words of the referee’s association – Arsenal players weren’t offside!

The visitors did however level shortly after the half time restart through a very soft penalty, but fair’s fair it was a penalty – he took the foot before the ball.

Speaking to the Official Site in his post game press conference, Wenger explained.

‘Yes. We were a bit unlucky with the penalty decision. I think the penalty was harsh. It didn`t look dangerous to score, it didn`t look a deliberate foul. After, even speaking to some referees they say you can give it, you can not give it, so personally, being manager of Arsenal Football Club, I prefer not to give it.’

Wenger was also happy to talk about the number of fouls from Victor Wanyama in the game, believing he was lucky to stay on the pitch – but of course we needed the second goal.

‘He was very lucky to stay on the pitch today because of a few fouls, the elbows on Walcott for example, but the referee makes the decisions. We have to cope with that and to deal with that. Still, nobody stopped us from scoring a second goal which is what we didn`t do.’

Part of getting that second goal – or lack thereof – Wenger was also asked the question about it being the 24th time that the side who took the lead failed to win the game, and he was pretty straight that in the second half especially, we just didn’t have our normal creative edge.

But for him we should’ve scored more in the first half.

‘It was a game of high intensity where I felt in the first half we looked always like we could score every time we crossed the halfway line and in the second half we looked a bit more flat physically, a bit more less sharp and we couldn`t find the creativity, the fluency around the box nor the vision we are used to. I think our level dropped and we were a bit too stretched as well. Spurs defended well on some crosses in the final 10 to 15 minutes, I feel there were some balls where the fact that despite three tall players we couldn`t make enough of corners and we missed some crosses as well. So overall it was high intensity, technically I think our level dropped in the second half and the desire was there. Maybe the result is fair.’

The obvious question of whether efforts in midweek hampered us, but Wenger knew the side should be used to games in quick succession so that couldn’t be an excuse.

‘No, I don`t think so. No. Maybe I felt we were not compact enough. We were stretched and after you that you run more – we did in the first half but not in the second half. In the first half they played many long balls and they stretched us because we pressurised very high, so it`s more difficult. Did we get a little bit of a mental blow when they equalised? I don`t know. But overall I felt that when we were questioned in the final 30 minutes, we had no physical answer good enough to win the game. But we tried. I cannot question the spirit and the intensity of the game, but we lacked, we looked a bit flat.’

Arsenal Blogger
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