Will Arsenal respond to Swansea City

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Arsene Wenger has slammed Arsenal’s lack of concentration after they squandered a three-goal lead to be held to a 3-3 draw by Anderlecht on Tuesday night.

The Gunners found themselves in a very strong position when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain slotted home in the 58th minute to add to Mikel Arteta’s 25th-minute penalty and Alexis Sanchez’s stunning volley just before the half-hour mark.

However, Anthony Vanden Borre scored twice in 12 minutes to give the Belgian side hope before Aleksandar Mitrovic headed past Wojciech Szczesny in the 90th minute to five the visitors a share of the points prompting the following words from Wenger.

“The end result is very disappointing,” he told reporters.

“We had bad luck because the first goal is offside, we had bad concentration because we thought the job was done, we had fatigue and didn’t win the challenges any more.

“I think overall we were poor defensively from the first to last minute. When they came back to 3-2, you want to secure yourself the game and we were maybe not cautious enough and went for number four.

“I wasn’t ever completely sure we weren’t in danger because the whole game we didn’t defend well. You have to be realistic as well – they are a good side.”

Arsenal were denied the chance to book their spot in the Champions League Round of 16 with the draw placing them on seven points, five behind leaders Borussia Dortmund, and five clear of Anderlecht with two fixtures remaining.

On the other hand Arteta was honest in his summary of the game: ‘I don’t know [how it got away from us],” he told Sky Sports after the final whistle. “We can’t afford to make those mistakes, it’s just not good enough.

“We had a 3-0 lead at home and we know what we’re playing for. We’ll analyse the mistakes and see what happened in the second half. It’s not up to the level of this club.

“The main aim when you start the competition is to win the group but we have thrown everything away tonight. You can’t do that in this competition.”


The Spaniard expects a response when domestic action resumes with a trip to south Wales.
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While Anderlecht sliced through Arsenal on the counter-attack on a few occasions early on, they were not clinical enough to convert any of their chances.

Arsenal had no such problems, and scored two goals in five minutes halfway through the first half. Mikel Arteta put the side ahead with a chipped penalty after Danny Welbeck was fouled in the box, and then Alexis Sanchez improvised a thumping volley after his free kick rebounded off the wall.

In the second half, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain got Arsenal’s third when he skipped past Anthony Vanden Borre with ease, and finished an electric run with a low, curling shot into the far corner. But Vanden Borre hit back quickly, grabbing an equaliser despite appearing to be in an offside position, to spark an incredible finish.

With 17 minutes left, the utility man grabbed a second from the penalty spot after Nacho Monreal hauled Aleksandar Mitrovic down in the box.

And there was more drama to come. In the last minute of normal time, Mitrovic glanced an equaliser inside the near post to spark wild celebrations from the visitors.
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