Arsene Wenger admitted that benching Alexis Sanchez against Liverpool misfired when he was quizzed about it immediately after the game.
Asked if the decision had misfired, Wenger replied, “Yes, but I felt as well in the first half the strikers suffered from the fact we didn’t dominate the midfield.” You can hear him reply in the video above.
The boss was also asked about it a lot in the post match press conference which you can see in the video below. Wenger, looking exhausted, said, “The thinking was that we had to go more direct and I wanted to play two players who are strong in the air, because we decided to go more direct.
“After that, to bring on Alexis in the second half. Of course, I believe in the second half it was easier for the strikers and you could see a different performance from Giroud and Welbeck because we dominated much more of the midfield.
“Everybody will come to the same conclusion, but I’m strong enough and lucid enough to analyse the impact. And I don’t deny that Alexis is a great player. I bought him and I always played him. This decision was not easy to make, but I have to stand up for it.
“I don’t think there’s any need to go into any individual explanation. What was good in the second half was our collective performance. What was not good in the first half was our collective performance. For me, that’s a much more rational explanation than the rest.”