Friday 23 February 2018

‘We’d have been back in the title race’

Tim Rich

ARSENAL manager Arsene Wenger was left to warn his players that they still needed to ensure they were not caught by Tottenham or Manchester City for third place: "We would have been back in the title race had we won here, absolutely, but now we need to focus on winning on last three games.

Tottenham can still catch us, Manchester City can still catch us, and so we need to win these last three games.”

Wenger, whose side had not lost after going two goals up for nearly 12 years, blamed what proved a terminal defeat on Arsenal immaturity and complacency. “I believe the goals we conceded were very poor,” he said.

“Unlucky, but poor. In football you have to keep focused for 90 minutes, especially against a team that is fighting to stay up like Wigan were today. We did not stay concentrated and we were punished for that in the end. Even at 2-0 I never thought the game was over,” added Wenger. “I could see we were having difficulties keeping the ball, creating other chances, and when you do not create chances in football you are in trouble.

“After going 2-0 up our game lacked cohesion and discipline, and I always felt we could be punished.”

Another error from Lukasz Fabianski that gifted Wigan their equaliser once more reopened the debate about the quality of goalkeepers the Arsenal boss has brought to the Emirates.

Wenger disagreed with a suggestion by one of his former players, Paul Merson, that Arsenal would never win a title until they bought a high-class keeper.

“Everybody has an opinion. I will keep my opinion to myself. You cannot say we lost this game because of the goalkeeper but I will have to look at the goal again.” Asked who he thought would now win the title, Wenger replied that he neither knew nor cared.

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