Stoke 3 Arsenal 2: There were a lot of positives, insists Arsene Wenger
Arsenal manager admits the Gunners weren't good enough defensively
Arsene Wenger insisted there were a lot of positives to take from Arsenal’s performance despite conceding their defending was poor after defeat at Stoke City.
The Gunners had secured back-to-back clean sheets with Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker reunited in the heart of the Arsenal defence in their previous two league games.
It’s frustrating to see them lose. There were a lot of positives – defensively we were not strong enough
However, Wenger started Calum Chambers in place of Koscielny, while Hector Bellerin replaced injured Nacho Monreal, with Stoke capitalising as Peter Crouch, Bojan Krkic and Jonathan Walters scored first-half goals.
Santi Cazorla’s penalty and Aaron Ramsey’s brilliant strike offered late hope, but Stoke hung on as Arsenal youngster Chambers received his marching orders for a second yellow card.
“There’s a lot of regret, we had given a lot,” Wenger told BBC Sport.
“We showed great energy levels and a a great response. The spirit of the team was fantastic. Defensively we missed start of game. We gave easy goals away. We were not decisive in challenges. Once we were 3-0 down, we had a mountain to climb. We did climb, but a bit unlucky I must say.”
Wenger continued: “What goes through the mind at half-time? Everybody is down so you have to pump the team up and make decisions to change what can be changed. It’s frustrating to see them lose. There were a lot of positives – defensively we were not strong enough.”