Wenger Delighted With ‘Vital’ Arsenal Response At Chelsea And Believes David Luiz Deserved Red Card
The Gunners ended their poor record at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League – ending a run of five defeats in a row by snatching a point against the defending champions, who saw David Luiz sent off during the last quarter of the game.
Arsenal stepped up their game and had the intent to fight till the end. The Gunners had the better chances to win the game – with Alexandre Lacazette missing an open goal after Aaron Ramsey was denied by the post, and Mustafi’s goal disallowed due to offside.
Wenger was elated to see a winning mentality in the team and their determination to fight till the end compared to their last away outing, in which they suffered an embarrassing 4-0 defeat against Liverpool at Anfield.
“I felt that was a game with intensity, with two teams going for it, battles all over the pitch, and we responded well. I like when the team shows that kind of response,” Wenger said.
“I feel it’s a deserved point. With a bit more freedom we could have won this game with one or two goals’ difference. But it was important we didn’t lose. You could see that in the last 20 minutes.”
“People forget we beat Chelsea in the FA Cup final two months ago. We’ve shown that quality many times.”
“When you go for trophies, everyone gives 100 per cent. It’s different in the championship. When you play at home, everyone expects you to win the games.”
“When you deliver the kind of performance we had at Liverpool, you have to accept the criticism. You can only respond on the pitch, and we did that. Today was a question: what would happen? With the attitude and determination, it was vital for us to come out with a solid performance. We did that.”
Arsenal lost 1-0 to Stoke City in their another away fixture in the 2017/18 season, but Wenger accentuated that their performance at the bet365 Stadium did not call for drastic changes in the squad.
“At Stoke, we had a very good performance on the football front, 77 per cent possession, three penalty shouts and, overall, we were a bit unlucky with the goal we didn’t score,” he said.
“The result was disappointing, but not the performance. What changed is, when you’re a footballer, only one thing matters: the next game, and how you respond. That’s what we saw.”
Chelsea defender David Luiz was sent off in the 87th minute for a strong challenge on Sead Kolasinac and Wenger believes that the referee took the correct decision.
“It was excessive force, yes,” he said. “Kolasinac was not completely on his feet. Even Luiz would accept there was a big distance and he went in too strong.”
“After that, it’s the decision of the referee. It looked to me like excessive force.”