By Chris Harris
Arsène Wenger admits that Saturday's defeat at Manchester City is "very difficult to take".
Arsenal fell behind at Eastlands in freakish circumstances when Micah Richards' header found its way into the net via the post and the back of Manuel Almunia's head, but they rallied after the break and scored a deserved equaliser when Robin van Persie buried a low right-foot shot past Shay Given.
An away win looked on the cards at that point but City scored three times in a crazy 15-minute spell before Tomas Rosicky marked his return to competitive action with a late consolation. Wenger was left to rue another missed opportunity as his team lost in Manchester for the second time in two weeks.
"The turning point was when it went to 2-1," said the manager.
"We conceded a stupid second goal and after that we were exposed, and I don’t think it was the third or fourth goal [which were turning points]. Even at 4-2 we had a chance to come back to 4-4, but we lacked a little bit of belief to really come back because I felt that there was enough room to come back."
Arsenal dispatched Everton and Portsmouth ruthlessly at the start of the season, scoring 10 goals in the process, but they have let promising positions slip in their last two Premier League fixtures. Wenger's side led 1-0 at Manchester United and were on top at Eastlands on Saturday but left empty-handed on both occasions. Wenger admits it is a cause for concern.
"It's worrying," he said. "The only thing I can say is we played four times, and three times away, and unfortunately we lost these two games and that’s very difficult to take because we have to learn to take the maximum with the performance we produce and we didn’t do that.
"Defensively we had not a good enough performance [against Man City]. Now we have to focus on our next game and we have to live with the disappointment of losing."Copyright 2013 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 14 Sep 2009