Wenger: We were scared…but then took control

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Arsene Wenger was pleased with the way his side reacted to an under-par first half showing as Arsenal came from behind against Chelsea to book a place in the final of the Carabao Cup with a 2-1 win at the Emirates.

Antonio Rudiger’s own goal cancelled out Eden Hazard’s early opener before Alex Lacazette set-up Granit Xhaka for what turned out to be the winner on the hour mark.

After the game, the boss faced the Sky Sports cameras, here’s what he had to say.

On the difference in his side’s performance before and after the break…

First, for psychological reasons a little bit. In the first half we gave them too much respect maybe, too much distances, we were a bit scared to go really for it. Football doesn’t like that and we suffered from that. I feel as well we were not in the right position in the field. We rectified that in the second half and were much better and then we took control of the game. The good thing at half time was that it was 1-1 and we knew we could do better in the second half and that’s what we did.

On Nacho Monreal’s goal threat…

Yes, it shows as well it’s linked a little bit with confidence and belief. Once you score and know you go again for it. He was a little bit lucky today but overall he has good timing and good runs, he gets on the ball.

On the back four changing the dynamic in the second half…

Yes, in the first half we watched them play a little bit and they strolled through our lines. The second half we were tighter, we didn’t give them much room. When you win more balls your midfield comes more into the game and then you start to dominate the game. In the first half we were not tight enough.

On Sanchez’s departure removing the uncertainty around the club…

We lost a great player in Alexis Sanchez but when a team doesn’t know what’s going on in the dressing room there is less clarity and focus on performances. We know we have to deal with it now.

On signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang…

No, there’s no news on that. There again, the clarity is let’s play with the players we have.

On playing Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final…

We have some time to prepare for the final but we are happy to take our fans to Wembley. I don’t know how many times we’ve been there [recently] but we’ve been there a few times now and we’re happy to be going again.

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