Wenger: Arteta was first on the penalty list


Arsene Wenger says that Mikel Arteta was the designated taker for any spot kicks Arsenal got today.

Despite suggestions the Spaniard should have left it to Santi Cazorla, or even Olivier Giroud (who missed a penalty against Coventry), the Arsenal manager defended the vice-captain’s decision to take it and the fact that Schwarzer made a save.

“Cazorla is second on the list, the No 1 is Arteta. If he doesn’t take it it’s Cazorla, or if Arteta wants to leave it to Cazorla. Cazorla wanted to take the ball. Arteta is No 1 on the priority.

“We had a penalty to win but you cannot blame Arteta for that. It is part of the game. Who hasn’t missed a penalty? From there it finished 3-3 and the positives are that we can score goals now.

“The negatives are to concede three goals at home of course, and the chances we gave away, defensively it wasn’t an historical performance.

“It was frustrating because we had the opportunities to win the game. We were caught in a bit too comfortable a position because we did the most difficult thing – we scored two goals to go 2-0 up, we were at home and yet at half-time we found ourselves at 2-2.

“At that moment we lacked urgency defensively. In the second half we gave absolutely everything and I have to give credit to the players, in the last three games what they have done physically is amazing.

“Even at 3-2 down we didn’t give up and continued to go forward and we had the chances to win the game.”

Yet two points dropped at home means that Arsenal fall further behind the leaders and Wenger is looking for his team to show more fight.

“That is not an ideal situation. We have shown before we can fight and again today that we can fight. There are a lot of positives in our team.

“At the moment, we do not get the points we want. Of course, we now do not have to waste any more time, but I still feel there is good potential in our side.”

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