After losing 4-0 at Southampton on Boxing Day, Arsène Wenger came out and said the scoreline wasn’t the be all and end all.
A horrible performance and some iffy officiating contributed to Arsenal’s downfall, but the manager was happy to tell the press the score doesn’t tell us too much.
“I don’t take the level of the scoring into consideration too much,” Wenger said. He was clearly, however, unsettled by and unhappy with the performance. “We lost too many challenges, they were sharper than us in the decisive challenges.”
Having said that, we were also unfortunate. The opening goal was one that Cuco Martina will never replicate, and the lead was doubled after Shane Long had tripped Laurent Koscielny off the ball.
It’s not an excuse for the performance Arsenal gave, but those moments still hugely influence the result.
“We were a bit unlucky as well on the first shot on goal from the right-back into the top corner and, after, the second goal was a foul on Koscielny. That was a turning point in the game that the referee didn’t see,” Wenger explained. “After that we were exposed on counter attacks because we came out.”
“It’s a disappointing result and I have to say well done to Southampton.”
Yep, fantastic, well done to them.
Next up, Arsenal face Bournemouth and a serious response is needed. A win would send the Gunners top of the league on Monday, with Manchester City and Leicester facing each other just over 24 hours later. Wouldn’t that be nice?