Arsene Wenger: Point Was the Minimum We Deserved vs. Man City
Arsene Wenger was very happy with the point Laurent Koscielny rescued for Arsenal against Manchester City on Sunday. The draw keeps the Gunners within touching distance of Chelsea in first place, and marks only the second goal they have conceded this year.
Speaking to fans through Arsenal's exclusive newsletter system, Le Prof said he was extremely happy with the result, but felt that on another day his team could have ended the Citizens' long unbeaten home run and taken all three points.
Wenger said, "I was pleased with Sunday's result because a point was the minimum we deserved when you consider what we put into the game."
The Gunners completely dominated the first half before a tactical re-shuffle by Roberto Mancini at half-time forced them on the back-foot for most of the second period.
"I was happy also with the quality of our display and our spirit," he added. "But, I was also a bit frustrated because I feel there was an opportunity to pick up all three points.
"We had early chances and very late chances, especially when Gervinho missed the target from the edge of the box."
Gervinho had a day to forget for the Gunners and put in a thoroughly miserable performance that had many Arsenal fans, and even Wenger, scratching their heads.
Wenger then accepted that Manchester City's goal was mostly down to him, as the Gunners' marking at the corner was negligent to say the least—especially from Lukas Podolski, who seemed to suffer a loss in confidence as a result.
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The Arsenal boss said, "we conceded a goal from a corner and I take that criticism on board, but it's worth noting that Manchester City are the team who score more goals than anyone else from set pieces."
He reserved special praise for Laurent Koscielny, who was man of the match for many, on his return to the starting line-up. The Frenchman put in a very composed defensive performance, aided by Per Mertesacker, and then scored the equaliser that the Gunners' play deserved.
He did leave a word of warning with his centre-back trio, though, by adding an ominous warning that he will rotate between all three as the season progresses.
"Laurent Koscielny had a great game," he said, "and stepped in very well."
"We have a number of classy centre backs, and it is a very difficult choice. No matter who is left out, they will feel disappointed. But I will rotate the centre backs and take into consideration the strikers we will face."
In the end, Arsenal thoroughly deserved their point. They were excellent at times in the first half, and dominated against the champions on their home patch.
The second half provided a vastly different examination for Wenger and the Gunners. When the Arsenal boss tried to change things to give his team the upper hand once again, his substitutes let him down, particularly Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud—who still appears to be struggling to adapt to the rigors of the English game.
The City game provided the first Premier League test for the Gunners this season and—while City are still firing well below their potential—it was a point well won.
Next week, Arsenal take on Chelsea in a game where they can easily expose an extremely slow Blues defence through their swift counter-attacking style of play. If all goes to plan for Wenger's team they will be sitting on 12 points come his next newsletter.
Quotes via Arsene Wenger's weekly newsletter.
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