Wenger on defeat, Swansea and defence

Arsène Wenger

Arsene Wenger spoke to the media after his side were beaten 2-1 by Swansea City on Sunday. Read a transcript of what he had to say below:

on the defeat…It was a game where we were in control and at 1-0 up I felt we allowed them back into the game by losing some challenges in the middle of the park that you cannot afford to lose and on that front we were a little bit on the back foot. It's unfortunate to lose a game like that but we were not rigorous until the end. We produced quite a decent performance for 75 minutes but you have to last 90 minutes. Did Tuesday night play a part in our mind? I don't think so, I hope not. You have to give Swansea credit, they did not give up, they did fight until the end. They scored a good free-kick and that gave them momentum again. In the end we lost the three points - that's very sad and very disappointing but we have to take it on the chin. We didn't play for 90 minutes with the right vigorous attitude.

on the defending…We play a lot, we give a lot. I believe that overall we controlled them quite well defensively but suddenly in the last 15 minutes you could see that we dropped and allowed them to be dangerous. Having said that, the free-kick is difficult to predict that he would score from there. It's not like we gave a great goal chance away. I feel the free-kick was a bit harsh but he took it well and Swansea is a good team.

on making changes earlier…I feel that it's always difficult at 1-0 because we were quite solid defensively and we didn't look in the need to change. We were struggling a bit on the right side but I have no experienced players on the bench. It was unfortunate and I didn't think there was a need to change.

on Alexis…He scored but I think he didn't have the best games today.

on whether the international break will help…We’ll see when they come back. We had a very disappointing week and considering the performances we produced and the end result we got, it’s very disappointing. We were 3-0 up against Anderlecht and 1-0 up today. In the end we’ve lost two points against Anderlecht and three points today. It’s very, very disappointing because we have to be capable of winning the game once we’re a goal up.

on other top teams struggling…At the moment Chelsea turns around an average of 100 points per season. If you look at the number of points they have today, if they keep that up nobody will touch them and that’s for sure. It doesn’t look like there’s anybody capable of challenging them at the moment.

on why Chelsea are so far ahead…There’s no obvious reason. They had a good start and we have gone through that too. As long as we don’t lose, you don’t question yourself. There’s a little bit extra spirit in the team that gets them through when it’s tight.

on whether it’s more damaging than the Anderlecht draw…I don’t know how damaging the result is but in the table, certainly. It’s very disappointing. Today we had an opportunity to come back into the top four in a bit more of a comfortable way and the fact we didn’t take it is disappointing.

on Flamini missing challenges...No I mean it’s not necessarily midfielders. It’s strikers, it’s defenders - I mean in the middle of the park. I think he had a decent game but we were in a position where we had to go forward and he was there to protect the team when we were 1-0 up. When we needed to attack I took him off because he’s a defensive midfielder.

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