Wenger on red cards and a crucial win

Arsène Wenger

Arsene Wenger spoke to the media after Arsenal beat Fulham 1-0 at Craven Cottage on Saturday afternoon.

on a nervous finish…Yes it was tight at the end because we couldn't score the second goal. I feel that we became cautious in the second half. Our first half was quite good. We were in control and played well with 11 against 11. Up to half-time we were alright with 11 against 10. In the second half, I felt [we wanted] to protect the lead and not to make a mistake. The final 10 minutes were really nervy because they started to play direct. They had a few dangerous balls in the box and it was difficult but it's still a very important win for us.

on the red cards…I spoke with Giroud. He said to me that he slipped at the moment he went for the ball and it's confirmed by the television. I haven't seen it but he's not a tackler. He went over the ball and knowing that Sidwell had been sent off before, I had no illusion of the colour of the card.

on if he will appeal Giroud's red…I have to see it again. I haven't seen it on television.

on Sidwell's red card…Sidwell's challenge was in front of me. I've seen that better. I think the referee had only the red card to give.

on Arteta avoiding a serious injury…He played the second half but I don't know how much damage it's done. It was a kick. I don't know if he has twisted his ankle a little bit or not. In this kind of things, it's just a question of a fraction of a second. If you are fully on your foot at the moment you get it, you break your leg. If you just ease a bit off [you can prevent injury]. Maybe that's why he got away with it.

on getting protection…Against Everton it was a very physical game. Somewhere I feel that physically we were a bit jaded today in the second half, maybe because we gave a lot against Everton. I've seen that Everton lost at Sunderland. It was a very physical game on Tuesday night.

on the second-half performance…I put it down to psychological reasons and to the fact that we didn't want to be stupid. You are a bit under pressure when you play 11 against 10 because you think that with every foul you risk a second yellow card so they do not go in the challenges. The crowd is behind their team. it becomes a different problem. In the end, we have a fantastic spirit and that got us through.

on if Arsenal are favourites for top-four place now…We are on a strong run and we just go into the next game and focus on winning that. The next game will be Man United so it's a good challenge for us.

on putting pressure on teams around them…It's important for us to win our games of course.

on Wilshere needing a rest…He played on Saturday and he played on Tuesday. He is still not completely recovered and pain free. I took the decision to rest him today.

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