On the goals conceded...
"The disappointment of the day is that we gave two cheap goals away, and in a game of that level it has a bad outcome, especially with seven minutes to go. It was a big blow. The two teams looked jaded physically, maybe us a bit more than them.

"We missed a few opportunities on crosses in the second half, and were unlucky in the last minute. They had one or two chances, but it looked like it would go to extra time, until we gave a goal away that you should not at this level."

On the pitch...
"I believe for Chelsea it was tough as well. It is not a pitch you should have in a stadium that cost this amount of money. It is laughable. The quality of the pitch is a disaster."

On rotating his squad...
"Alex Song has played many games and I believe when you do that you need rest. I am not sure he would have stopped the ball in the air on the second goal, but it is difficult. We know they are dangerous on set-pieces and we are a bit short. Plus they have some tall boys who make it physical in midfield and we needed a player like Diaby to be capable of fighting against them.

"As well I wanted to rotate it a bit because Nasri was sick last week and he looked a bit tired. We played with three strikers - Theo, Robin and Adebayor - and I couldn’t play with four when they had three in midfield.

"I believe we are a team with eight games in 24 days and you cannot imagine to play every game with exactly the same players."

On making late substitutions...
"You must consider you could go to extra time and we had one or two players who were short - Silvestre and Gibbs at half-time - so if you make the change earlier you could have played with 10 men."

On Didier Drogba...
"He is a winner, and he scores in big games. I feel we made it a little easier for him, but he never stops, he is always focused. Look at the amount of goals he scores in big games, you can only say he is a great player. He dives sometimes a little bit too much but he is a winner."

On Fabianski's performance...
"It will damage his confidence because he will feel a little bit guilty, but you cannot blame any individual. You want the whole team to focus and respond quickly against Liverpool; we have them, Middlesbrough and the Champions League Semi-Final. We have to respond very quickly.

"I believe that he is still a great goalkeeper, although perhaps it was not his best of games today."

On the midfield battle...
"I feel in midfield it was more physical today and we didn't have our usual fluency. They made it physical and the pitch slowed it down. Cesc tried very hard but overall it was a scrappy game."

On Van Persie's substitution...
"Yes it was a groin problem. I don’t know if he will be out for Tuesday because I haven’t spoken to the medical team."

On Walcott's performance...
"Theo was always a threat today and he always gave you hope he could give you something special. He is developing very well as a player. Now he gets in front of full-backs and gets goals, which is a very good sign as he is still very young."

On moving forward...
"We have a bigger target now in front of us, which is the Champions League, and of course the Premier League - we want to come back as close as possible, and stay fourth. We have big targets."

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 18 Apr 2009