Search

Arsenal held after Southampton traffic jam as Wenger says side played in second gear

23:43 28 January 2014

Arsene Wenger manager of Arsenal reacts as he looks to Olivier Giroud during the draw at Southampton. Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Arsene Wenger manager of Arsenal reacts as he looks to Olivier Giroud during the draw at Southampton. Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

2014 Getty Images

Arsenal’s team coach was delayed in arriving at Southampton before a performance which Arsene Wenger conceded saw his side play in second gear - but the Gunners’ boss refused to see the result as two points dropped.

Arsenal were thoroughly outplayed in the first half as Jose Fonte’s 21st-minute header gave Saints a well-deserved lead at the break.

Two quick-fire goals after the interval, with in-form duo Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla once again on target, gave the visitors a lead to defend before Adam Lallana pulled Southampton level and Mathieu Flamini saw red late on.

The draw means both Manchester City and Chelsea can overtake the Premier League leaders if they win their respective fixtures but Wenger, whose side arrived late due to congestion around the stadium, refused to see their draw as a missed opportunity.

“I think in the first-half Southampton played very well and we didn’t play well,” he said.

“Southampton deserved the lead at half-time and in the second-half I felt we played well and it was a very good football game.

“We played in second gear and Southampton in fourth. They played at a higher pace than us, decided to stop us from playing and did it very well. It is difficult to maintain but they did it for 90 minutes and they did it very well in the first-half.

“You want the three points in every game but it is a difficult place Southampton. When you look at the overall record it can happen sometimes away from home you take only one point.”

Flamini was dismissed with 10 minutes remaining for a two-footed challenge on Saints midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin but Wenger felt his player was unfortunate to be sent off.

“To me it looked harsh,” he said.

“He got the ball. At some stage we have all the feet off the ground - when you want to run you need to put the feet off the ground.

“If you say that every time a guy makes the two-footed tackle it is a red card he deserved a red card. If you say was it a violent tackle I would say no as he played the ball. I don’t know, the referee made the decision, we have to cope with it.”

The France international will now miss the next four Arsenal fixtures, including Sunday’s game against Crystal Palace, and Wenger’s options in midfield will be further limited following a setback in Aaron Ramsey’s return.

“Aaron Ramsey is out for longer than we expected as he had a little setback yesterday in training so I couldn’t bring him here,” Wenger confirmed.

“It is the same muscle. He felt it a bit again so we have to be cautious this time.”

Related articles

0 comments

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino admits he is frustrated that a host of his players will be departing for international duty again after this weekend’s round of fixtures.

Laura Hirai in action for the Great Britain Under-19 team at the ESF Junior Womens European Softball Championship in Barcelona

Like most 16-year-olds, Laura Hirai’s primary concern today (Thursday) is her GCSE results. But four days after the end of the Rio 2016 Olympics, when the baton was passed to Tokyo and a new four-cycle began, the teenager is also dreaming about being involved in the 2020 Games.

09:40
Wingate & Finchley goalkeeper Shane Gore. Pic: Martin Addison

Filling the well-worn boots of Bobby Smith doesn’t faze Shane Gore – it’s actually a case of déjà vu for Wingate & Finchley’s new No1.

09:11
Hendon midfielder Sam Murphy

Hendon duo Scott Cousins and Sam Murphy are aiming to guide England to their best ever performance at the European Six-a-side Championships later this week.

Tottenham's Toby Alderweireld (left) battles with Crystal Palace's Connor Wickham during Saturday's Premier League clash at White Hart Lane. Pic: PA

Toby Alderweireld says Tottenham’s players are looking forward to testing themselves against some of the best clubs in Europe and playing at Wembley Stadium ahead of today’s (Thursday’s) Champions League draw.

Yesterday, 14:53
Haringey Borough's Nana Asamoah scored twice in Saturday's FA Cup victory over Barkingside. Pic: Tony Gay

The goals are flying in at Coles Park – and Haringey Borough manager Tom Loizou believes the new 3G pitch has played a big part after his side scored seven goals in Saturday’s FA Cup victory, writes Dan Long.

Tue, 18:56
Sandun Dias hit 85 for Highgate. Pic: Max Flego

Highgate hauled themselves out of the drop zone again as the weather helped them to secure a narrow victory at Enfield in Division Two of the Middlesex County League.

Tue, 13:54
Jordan Gregory bowls for North London. Pic: Max Flego

North London skipper Sam Bardon is optimistic that victories in the two remaining games will give his side a good chance of promotion from Middlesex County League Division Three.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

You could win £15,000 to spend on either their mortgage or a deposit towards the home of their dreams

Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a period of time when you simply don’t have to worry about finding the money each month to pay your mortgage? When you don’t have to put money aside from your monthly income, or worry about having to afford other essential outgoings?

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate that one lucky winner will receive four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All runners up will get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now