By Rob Kelly

Arsène Wenger believes some of this season’s surprise scorelines can be explained by the attacking ambitions of the Premier League’s top clubs.

Manchester United visit Emirates Stadium on Sunday having beaten Arsenal 8-2 at Old Trafford in August. However Sir Alex Ferguson’s side were on the wrong end of a similarly heavy defeat when they lost 6-1 to Manchester City two months later.

Wenger says the determination of the Premier League’s biggest clubs to win at all costs – even when circumstances conspire against them – has inevitably led to shock defeats.

“First of all, it's because you have teams of quality and they can punish you,” he said.

"Man City have quality up front as well. [The 6-1 win at Old Trafford] was as well special circumstances because Man United played with 10 men. When you're a big team and you play with 10 men you don't sit back. You still want to attack.

“The only big team that was cautious when they went down to 10 men was Manchester City against Manchester United in the FA Cup and they nearly came back.

"But we were punished [against United] because I took a gamble and took [Francis] Coquelin out, who was the only defensive player in midfield and of course we were too open.”

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
20 Jan 2012