Arsene Wenger faced the media after after his side beat Liverpool 2-1 in the FA Cup fifth round. Read a transcript from the press conference below:
on a big win…It was vital for us to respond to the disappointing performance we had against Liverpool last week. It was vital as well because we had an opportunity to go to the quarter-final of the FA Cup. I am very pleased with the intensity of our commitment and our response, our determination. You could feel there was a clinical desire in my team to take every opportunity to 'kill' them. That's why it was a great game between two good teams, and overall it was a fantastic FA Cup tie. Many people questioned the FA Cup but like today it delivers a great football performance.
on Liverpool's chances…Look, Liverpool is a very strong team. They had some chances but you should not forget that we as well had some very good chances on top of that. They were in a position where they had to take the initiative because they were 2-0 down, they had to throw absolutely everything forward. They are good enough to create chances against any team, but we were resilient, focused on defending well. Overall it looked yes that they could score, but it looked always that when we won the ball we had a chance to go to the goal and score as well.
"I am very pleased with the intensity of our commitment and our response, our determination. You could feel there was a clinical desire in my team to take every opportunity to 'kill' them"
on the number of changes…I made changes, most of them for medical reasons. Some for technical reasons, because [for example] the [No 2] goalkeeper always plays [in the FA Cup]. I rate Fabianski so highly that I had no hesitation to play him.
on Yaya Sanogo…For a first performance he was excellent. He was always in the game, he was a handful for them. It's his first official game basically, he played one game in the reserves for 60 minutes. Considering the intensity of the game, he was absolutely excellent.
on Suarez's second penalty claim…Maybe. I have to watch it again. You know that I rate Suarez as a player but I think if we had him in the team we would have a few more free-kicks! There was contact, I don't deny that, but he is good to make more of it.
on Jose Mourinho's comments…I am embarrassed for him, honestly. First of all I would say that I didn't speak about him at all in my press conference, and I have no more to say… I am more disappointed for Chelsea than for me. I am not interested in the subject at all, and that is really genuine. If you are interested, and you have nothing better to do in your life, you are free to do it. But honestly, I cannot force my interest in things that are not interesting for me. I love football and I'm sorry to disappoint you, but what interests me is what happens on the pitch.
on fitness issues…Jack Wilshere had a stiff back, after that Cazorla was ill, Gibbs had a little muscular problem, Sagna was tired. But I kept the defensive stability with Mertesacker and Koscielny. I rested Rosicky completely. They will be OK for Wednesday, but we lose Arteta, who is suspended for Wednesday night.
on Olivier Giroud being rested…He looked a bit tired and… I know where you [the reporters] want to lead me, slowly but surely… he has made a statement and we will deal with it internally. I don't think there is much more to add to that because I want to respect his privacy as well. I haven't seen it [his statement].
on Nicklas Bendtner…Yes of course [he is disappointed not to be in the squad]. He works very hard, very well, but I wanted to give a chance to Sanogo, and I think overall the performance of Sanogo justified it. Bendtner is fit at the moment, and sharp.
Copyright 2020 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.