Defiant Arsene Wenger insists Arsenal are still in Premier League title race despite defeat to Manchester United
PUBLISHED: 17:46 28 February 2016 | UPDATED: 00:28 01 March 2016
2016 The Arsenal Football Club Plc
A defiant Arsene Wenger insisted Arsenal are still in the Premier League title race - despite a crushing 3-2 defeat to an attacking Manchester United side at OId Trafford this afternoon.
Wenger, speaking during his post-match press conference told a packed room his team were still very much in the mix to challenge for a first league crown in 12 years.
Despite the Gunners conceding a brace of goals in two first half minutes through defensive lapses – as emerging young tyro Marcus Rashford made it four goals in his first two games for The Red Devils – the North Londoners long-serving manager was adamant his team could still finish top of the league.
He said: “Of course we still have time to claw back the points in the title race – but our answer will have to come quick and strong.
“Nobody knows what the effect of losing three points here today will be until the end of the season.
“We had a lot of the ball today but conceding two quick goals is my big regret when we had so much of the play.” Referring to his decision to pick Theo Walcott, Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck as an attacking trident he explained: “I have no regrets about picking my attackers,
“They can all defend well.
“We suffered today from crosses into the box.
“Also we struggled to be dangerous because they defended well.”
However, he admitted Arsenal were shocked by the pace, power and movement of teen sensation Rashford as the Frenchman conceded: “He surprised me with the intelligence of his movement.”
When asked his view of van Gaal’s extraordinary – and theatrical – feigned dive to the floor to indicate displeasure with the referee’s decisions late in the second half he said diplomatically: “I do not have a view. If I tell what you I think you will accuse me of being a bad loser”, adding ironically, “I am a bad loser of course.”
On the controversial incident that is sure to be replayed numerous times on television and social media Louis van Gaal added: “I apologised to the referee and linesman. I have to control my emotions more – but I get criticised for sitting for on the bench and I will now get criticised for leaving it.”
On Arsenal’s performance he said: “We have played well like this before – but against a team like Arsenal our performance is on another level.
“I think Arsenal are one of the best teams in the Premier League. They are very creative but when they scored it was through our mistakes.
“I’m pleased that Arsenal created more chances against Barcelona in the Champions League than they did against us today.”