Wenger on Palace defeat, angry fans & Champions League hopes

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A besieged Arsene Wenger faced the cameras after Arsenal’s latest abject defeat – this time a 3-0 crushing at the hands of Crystal Palace.

Here’s what he had to say to Sky Sports’ Geoff Shreeves

Was that a terrible performance and a terrible result for you tonight?

I felt that they won the decisive duels, we created quite dangerous situations but defensively we were exposed many times and offensively we couldn’t finish. I think in the first half it was quite level but after they came out in the second half stronger than us. We were a bit unfortunate on the second goal and the third it was a penalty that killed our game.

Were you also unable to handle Cristian Benteke this evening? He seemed to cause you all sorts of problems.

Yes, he [Benteke] was up for it. He is a handful for everybody when he is like that.

They were also winning all the second balls as well. Were they more committed, was there more desire from Crystal Palace tonight?

I think they were sharper than us in the duels, certainly in many decisive situations tonight, yes.

That must be deeply concerning to you, what do you put that down to?

Look it’s not the right moment to go into that. We need to analyse well the game. I think we had a lot of the ball, we had a lot of possession. If they [Palace] had won all the second balls we’d not have had so much possession. We won many second balls as well but they were, in the decisive duels, stronger and especially Benteke tonight.

What did you say at half time? It seemed to be more of the same in the second half.

What we say in the dressing room, stays in the dressing room.

But why do you think you were unable to change things?

I just told you, I felt they won more decisive duels than us.

How damaging is this in terms of your quest for top four tonight?

It’s damaging of course on that front. That is what is the most difficult thing tonight. It’s a difficult defeat but on top of that it has consequences on our chances to be in the top four.

When you hear the fans singing ‘You’re not fit to wear the shirt’, what do you make of that? 

We understand that our fans are very unhappy. We came here with the hope we would win the game.

How worried are you personally by what you saw tonight?

Every defeat is a big worry. I’ve managed over 1,000 games for Arsenal Football Club and we are not used to losing like that. It is a big worry.

How concerned are you that this season is drifting away, just petering out?

Yeah, unfortunately, at the moment, it is like that. We have to respond very quickly and not accept it.

Do you think the situation involving yourself has any effect on what is happening?

Geoff, I don’t know but I can’t go on [talking] forever after a game like that. I’m disappointed and determined to put things right. The worry is not me, the worry is we lost a big game.

Is there any news on your situation?

No.

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