Arsenal’s Nacho Monreal blames fatigue for subdued performance

Arsenal defender Nacho Monreal hails three important points in top-four race

Arsenal ambled to a 2-1 victory over lowly Leicester City last night as a direct consequence of playing two games in four days, according to Nacho Monreal.

First-half goals from Laurent Koscielny and Theo Walcott put the Gunners into a commanding lead, but Andrej Kramaric reduced the arrears with his first Foxes goal.

The win comes after Arsenal’s loss in Saturday’s north London, and the Spanish defender told Arsenal’s website that the team were well below their best.

“We were not feeling 100% as we played a very hard game against Tottenham three days ago,” he said, “it was a difficult game for us.

“I think we didn’t play our best. We scored twice in the first half and were 2-0 up at the break. Maybe we thought the second half was going to be easier than it was, especially once they scored.”

Monreal, who has 16 Spanish caps, then emphasised the importance of returning to winning ways after the weekend’s north London derby defeat.

“In our last game, we were disappointed and upset with the end result as we lost the game,” he said.

“We knew that we needed a win because we want to finish as high as we can. These three points are very important for us.”

The Gunners leapt from sixth to fourth with victory over Leicester, level on points with Southampton in third, but the Saints play West Ham this evening and have a superior goal difference.

Monreal and his team-mates now have a 10-day gap until their next Premier League encounter at Crystal Palace, but play Middlesbrough in the FA Cup fifth round this coming Sunday.

Alan Shearer (Photo: BBC Sport / Screengrab)
‘Just too good’: Alan Shearer heaps praise on Chelsea FC trio
Gary Neville
Gary Neville: Man United star Mason Greenwood is on a 'different level'
Paul Merson
Paul Merson: Harry Kane would be 'perfect' for Man United
Michael Owen
Michael Owen states his prediction for Chelsea FC v FC Porto
Roy Keane
Roy Keane raves about ‘outstanding’ Man United star after Tottenham showing
Alan Shearer (Photo: BBC Sport / Screengrab)
‘Just too good’: Alan Shearer heaps praise on Chelsea FC trio
Gary Neville
Gary Neville: Man United star Mason Greenwood is on a 'different level'
Paul Merson
Paul Merson: Harry Kane would be 'perfect' for Man United
Michael Owen
Michael Owen states his prediction for Chelsea FC v FC Porto
Roy Keane
Roy Keane raves about ‘outstanding’ Man United star after Tottenham showing
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature