Football

Wenger insists draw is a fair result

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger claimed the 2-2 draw with Liverpool at Anfield yesterday morning (Singapore time) was a fair result, despite his side registering only three shots on target.

Wenger told Sky Sports: "It was an intense game. We have to regret conceding a set-piece in the last minute but, overall, it's a fair result.

"We were just not spontaneous enough in our game. We played a little bit with the handbrake on.

"It was important for us to come back, especially after having not played our usual game in the first half. To be level at half-time was a good result."

The Frenchman admitted that his side had February's devastating 5-1 defeat at Anfield in the back of their minds in a slow opening 45 minutes, but was delighted to find them level against the run of play at the break to set up a better performance.

"Last season was big in our mind," said Wenger,

"(In the first half), we lost too many balls and the flow was not there. Second half was better and, at 2-1 up and after that, we had a few chances.

"My first job is to win the games and, if you can win the games and be fair, that's even better.

"When you're 2-1 up with minutes to go, you want to win the game but, overall, 2-2 is a fair result."

Despite letting victory slip out of their hands, Arsenal midfielder Mathieu Flamini insists that it would be "crazy" not to think the Gunners will improve in the second half of the season after key players return from injury.

PROBLEM

Theo Walcott was an unused substitute against Liverpool as he bids to overcome a groin problem and, with Nacho Monreal recovering from a foot injury to appear as a late substitute to climb off the treatment table along with the recently returned Mathieu Debuchy, Olivier Giroud and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Flamini insists Arsenal's form will soon improve.

"It would be crazy to think the opposite because we lost so many key players and having them back is very important for the team," said Flamini.

"We definitely need them because in the championship and the last stages of the Champions League, you cannot do it with 11 players. You need 25, so it is important for us to have them back.

"The season is going to be long. We are only arriving at Christmas now.

"There are still a lot of games to go, so we take one game after another and focus on the next matches.

"I am very confident in the team, very confident in the quality we have because we have a few top players." 
- Wire Services.

Liverpool set the tempo in midfield... I don’t think we played that well today, but sometimes you need to win those games when you don’t play well, especially away from home at a hard place at Anfield.

- Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade- Chamberlain