Arsene Wenger critical of Per Mertesacker and Nacho Monreal after Liverpool draw
PUBLISHED: 20:10 21 December 2014 | UPDATED: 20:10 21 December 2014
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Arsene Wenger was disappointed with Arsenal’s failure to defend Martin Skrtel’s stoppage time equaliser in their 2-2 draw with 10-man Liverpool at Anfield.
Goals from Mathieu Debuchy and Olivier Giroud had given the Gunners a scarcely-deserved lead after Philippe Coutinho’s opening goal, but Skrtel headed home from a corner to snatch a point for the Reds.
While Calum Chambers failed to track Skrtel for the goal, replays showed Per Mertesacker and Nacho Monreal appear to duck under the Slovakian’s header.
And Wenger was disappointed by his charges’ costly defensive lapse.
He told the BBC: “For their goal, we had plenty of defenders on the pitch. It’s disappointing that we didn’t even jump. You want everybody to be focused on the corner.
“It was maybe a fair result, but we are disappointed to give a goal away with a free header. It was an intense game. We played a little bit with a handbrake on in the first half, and Liverpool played well.
“We lost the ball too quickly in the first half - when you are not used to something it was frustrating. It was important for us to come back before half time, and 1-1 was a good result [at the break].
“Adam Lallana and Philippe Coutinho, in the first half, caused us problems, as did Raheem Sterling. We gave them more problems after the break.”
Wenger felt Arsenal improved after half time, and the Frenchman also revealed goal scorer Giroud played despite being sick the night before the game.
“Olivier Giroud was quite sick overnight and he became more influential in the second half,” he said. “But in a long period of stoppage time, you have to survive two or three corners and free kicks.
Asked whether it was a fair result, he said: “My first job is to win the games. When you are 2-1 up with minutes to go you want to win - but objectively 2-2 is a fair result.”