Arsenal stars still “jaded” from Manchester United clash, says Wenger
- Credit: EMPICS Sport
Arsene Wenger conceded that his players were still drained from their efforts against Manchester United after being held by Sunderland on Wednesday night.
The Gunners, who drew 1-1 at Old Trafford last Sunday, had to settle for a point again as Sunderland battled for the 0-0 scoreline that sealed their Premier League survival.
And Wenger admitted: “We dominated possession, but we’re lacking sharpness at the moment. I think physically it was an intense game on Sunday and we were a bit jaded.
“We played our 56th game of the season and the players have given a lot. Some of them looked a bit as if they’ve not completely recovered from Sunday.
“There was always something missing – we needed something special to score. You have to expect your opposition to play well and you have to be good enough despite that.”
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Wenger’s side cannot now snatch the Premier League runners-up spot from Manchester City, but they will finish third barring an unlikely combination of results in this weekend’s final round of games.
The Gunners, who host West Brom, are three points clear of fourth-placed Manchester United and have a superior goal difference over the Red Devils, who face relegation-haunted Hull.
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“It is important that we win on Sunday, to give our fans a good final game and go into the Cup final,” added the Frenchman. “We are in a strong position to finish in the top three – let’s do it.”
Wenger confirmed that he will consider resting players against the Baggies, but Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain remains unlikely to feature, while striker Danny Welbeck (knee) will undergo a late fitness test.