Press conference

‘It could have been game over at half-time’

Arsene Wenger sat down to face the media straight after that incredible 3-3 draw with Liverpool on Friday night.

Here’s what he said:

on whether we should have held on once in front…
Yes, that’s the frustration of the night, but on the other hadn’t to be completely honest it could have been game over at half-time as well because we had a nightmare first half. We played too far from each other, not compact enough, not composed enough and overall at half-time we could have ben punished more. Mane missed his chance just before half-time and I must give players the credit because even at 2-0 we didn’t show any weakness, we didn’t give in any weakness and we’ve shown great spirit again and come back. It’s true that I’m frustrated that at 3-2 we couldn’t keep the result but overall what can you say? It was a fantastic game with quality going forward for both sides, us more on quick combinations, them more on fantastic counter-attacking pace and that’s why it was always an interesting game.

on whether he should have ‘parked the bus’…
I don’t know what you mean by parking the bus, I don’t know who created this expression, but it has not a lot to do with football. We defended well, but you know that with their quality going forward they can always score a goal. I hoped that we could score one as well and I think in the second half we were not so much in trouble, but they have quality everywhere going forward and it’s difficult to say that you guarantee that you don’t concede a goal.

on what he said at half-time…
I would keep that private, but I just think that the positive thing was that we were only 1-0 down. We played too deep basically, too far from each other, we had to push higher up and support our strikers more and play with the handbrake off. We played and kicked the ball at the back, they won many second balls, we were too much in trouble with long balls because we didn’t have enough composure to put the ball down and play.

on whether Cech should have saved the third goal…
I would have loved it yes, but I think he had a good game. I don’t know how he could have done better there, but overall I think he had classy game today.

on whether Monreal was injured…
Yes, ankle problem.

on Oxlade-Chamberlain being booed…
I am 20 years in England, so I’m not surprised, but overall I don’t think it was too loud.