Arsenal refused to lose- Wenger
jamuna news: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said his side ‘refused to lose the game’ as they came back from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 at Bournemouth.
It was the first time the Gunners had recovered from a three-goal deficit to draw a Premier League match.
‘It was a physical and mental test - they started much faster but we showed we are mentally strong,’ Wenger said.
‘At 3-0 down after 70 minutes you’d take a point, but in the end we were frustrated not to win the game.’
Charlie Daniels, a Callum Wilson penalty and Ryan Fraser put Bournemouth on top by the hour mark but Alexis Sanchez and substitute Lucas Perez hit back before Olivier Giroud levelled in stoppage time.
‘We wanted to win the game and we wanted three points, but on the other hand some big teams have dropped points here,’ Wenger added. ‘We had to cope with the pace of Bournemouth, who scored four against Liverpool here.
‘But when you’re 3-0 down you have to acknowledge the quality of the response of your team.’
Having spoken before the game about the ‘uneven’ festive fixture programme, Wenger’s side were in action two days after playing Crystal Palace on Sunday, against a Bournemouth team with an extra day’s rest after their win at Swansea on Saturday.
Both sides played their three Christmas games in the space of 198.75 hours - 81.75 hours more than Southampton, who had the toughest schedule.
‘Bournemouth deserve a lot of credit as they are a good team who played with pace, but the disadvantage is too big to play against a team with three and a half days’ recovery,’ the Frenchman said. ‘It’s too uneven to only have two days’ rest. That’s too big a handicap.
‘We had three or four players we had to play tonight that we had to wait until the warm-up to see if they could play.
‘Hector Bellerin had a knock so he was uncertain to play, and that’s the problem with only 48 hours [between games] - you have to play some players again. Laurent Koscielny too, and we had Gabriel that we didn’t start in the end.
‘And then I didn’t start Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain because I didn’t take a gamble with him, because I didn’t know who we’d have to take off.
‘This complicates the job a lot, but we have to shut up and cope with it.’
Asked whether his side would have won with an extra day’s rest, Wenger replied: ‘I’m ready to play tomorrow, as long as we play an opponent who has played today. We want to play a team with the same rest that we have had.’
Wenger’s opposite number Eddie Howe also conceded that the schedule had aided his team.
‘I’m not going to deny it had an impact,’ the Bournemouth boss said. ‘That’s what you have a squad for and make changes, like we did.’
jamunanews24.com/RP/04 January 2016