By Richard Clarke
Arsène Wenger refused to blame complacency for his Arsenal side allowing a second successive comeback on Sunday.
Robin van Persie and William Gallas seemed to have given the visitors an unassailable lead at Upton Park but goals from Carlton Cole and Alessandro Diamanti drew West Ham level in the final 14 minutes. That came just five days after AZ Alkmaar had equalised deep into injury time when Arsenal were cruising to a third successive Champions League win.
Neither draw is likely to be that damaging, Wenger’s men are top of Group H and actually rose to third in the Premier League with the point they gained in East London. However both games felt like defeats.
“It is not complacency,” said Wenger afterwards. “We just have to continue to play in a rigorous way, respect the game we love and the pass. That is what we forgot sometimes and we have paid for it.
“We play at top quality and at the moment we do not get rewarded for what we produce.”
That said, Wenger implied Sunday’s draw was more disappointing to him than Tuesday’s.
“In the Champions League it can happen that you are 1-0 up and are caught on a free-kick in the last minute,” he said. “Today it has not to happen.
"At 2-0 we lost the way we want to play the game. And when a team comeback to 2-1 and you are away from home you are always under threat to go to 2-2.”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 26 Oct 2009