‘We had to win game’ – Wenger on a high after late own goal helps Arsenal beat Leicester

PUBLISHED: 23:27 26 April 2017 | UPDATED: 23:27 26 April 2017

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger attends to Alexis Sanchez during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger attends to Alexis Sanchez during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London.

PA Wire/PA Images

A bullish Arsene Wenger was delighted with his team’s late victory after an 85th minute Robert Huth own goal clinched three points for Arsenal at the Emirates tonight.

The win made it three wins in three and two in four days as the North Londoners attempt to emphatically banish their recent poor run of form and attempt to end their season on a high.

The win saw Wenger’s team move up to sixth, four points behind fourth placed Manchester City with both teams having six league games to play.

A scrappy match appeared to be heading for a goalless stalemate until Nacho Monreal fired in a low shot into the visitors box after a spell of home pressure.

With substitute Olivier Giroud jostling with Foxes’ centre half Huth the ball flew off the former Chelsea defender and past keeper Kasper Schmeichel to give Arsenal all three points.

A delighted Wenger said afterwards: “We took the initiative but you could see we had some heavy legs.

“Maybe we backed a bit of speed in our game but they are very difficult to get out of position and in the end we are very happy with the win.

“Let’s not forget that Leicester did not play at the weekend.”

After starting the game with three at the back following on from the same formation at Wembley he said: “I finished with four at the back and four up front.

“We had to win the game.

When asked about whether his team could qualify for the Champions League by finishing in the top four Wenger added: “We have one advantage – that of clarity.

“We know we have to win all our games so that’s we why cannot be happy with a 0-0. That’s why we have to take a gamble to try to win the game at any cost.”

Wenger brushed off controversy after Alexis Sanchez received a yellow card following an incident with Leicester’s Christian Fuchs late on.

The Chilean stood in front of the German as he blocked his attempts to take a throw in the Arsenal half.

Frustrated, Fuchs then hurled the ball at him from point blank range. Sanchez then went down theatrically and appeared to be booked for his overreaction.

However, Wenger couldn’t confirm whether the livewire South American picked up a yellow for pretending to be injured or because he refused to move back.

The Frenchman said: “I don’t see where he has been hit but I saw when Fuchs tried to throw the ball in twice Sanchez was next to him.

“He didn’t know he had to be further away. The referee didn’t tell him.

“The referee did not tell him. After that he got a yellow card because he didn’t respect the rule. He was not at the right distance away.

“On top of that Fuchs was lucky not to get a yellow card because he threw the ball at him on purpose.

“I will check on the video [to see if he was booked for simulation not refusing to retreat].”

In the fractious closing minutes Leicester defender Yohan Benalouane was booked for raking his studs into Olivier Giroud’s back following a challenge.

The reckless contact could have easily earned the 30-year-old French-born Tunisian a red card as he appeared to treat the Arsenal forward’s back as a climbing wall.

Wenger said dryly. “Benalouane’s challenge was a dark orange – close to a red.”

In a predictable closing response Wenger said tonight was not the time to talk about his future.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Islington Sports News


England admit they were below required standards despite remaining in cruise control against a Cricket Australia XI on day three of their final Ashes warm-up match.


England striker Jodie Taylor scored twice ahead of the upcoming international break, as Arsenal made their extra quality count by thrashing Watford in the FA WSL Continental Tyres Cup on Thursday night.


I drove east around the M25 to Enfield after Arsene Wenger’s press conference at London Colney on Thursday to make the short trip to Hotspur Way to hear Mauricio Pochettino talk about the North London derby.


England made light of a trademark collapse to continue their domination of a Cricket Australia XI after Middlesex’s Dawid Malan became the second centurion of their Ashes tour.


The Islington Sobell Boxing Club continues to go from strength to strength after being founded earlier this year.

Yesterday, 23:23

Arsene Wenger has offered his Spurs counterpart Mauricio Pochettino advice on how to win a trophy – saying his team have to overcome the ‘fear’ of failing if they want to win silverware this season.

Yesterday, 17:52

The much-loved Arsenal literary icon Nick Hornby has been speaking with the Islington Gazette ahead of the North London derby.

Arsene Wenger says Santi Cazorla’s ankle injury is by far the “worst” he’s encountered during his long managerial career.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read sport

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now