Wenger Praises Arsenal’s Solidarity In Stoke Draw

ArsenalArsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, praised the character of his side as they drew 0-0 in a battle with Stoke City on Sunday afternoon.

The Gunners moved back to the top of the Barclays Premier League table on goal difference as they extended their unbeaten run to four league matches.

The manner of Arsenal’s performance earning the hard-fought point at the Britannia Stadium, generally pleased Wenger, although the manager was frustrated that his side “lacked the final ball” in attack.

“It was an old-fashioned Stoke battle because they made the game very physical.

“The crowd was up for it, the players were up for it and they went for a very direct game and we had to show a physical response, solidarity, fighting spirit, togetherness.

“They were really up for it, they tried from the first to the last minute and looking at the history we have here, it is a positive result,” he said in his post-match press conference.

Speaking to Arsenal Player, he said, “I thought we were tested on our capacity to fight, on our capacity to have a great togetherness, to respond and we responded well.

“I’m of course a bit unhappy because we like to score goals and we didn’t score today.

“We maybe lacked the final ball, the creative side of our game. But they made a fight of it and we had to respond.

“Compared to the history we have here, it’s a positive result. Compared to our desire to win the game, it’s not a positive result.

“But overall, compared to the results of all of the other teams who play at the top, it’s still a positive result.

“There’s a charisma in this team, a togetherness that comes out with a fighting attitude,” Wenger added. “[We are] people who really want to do well and that came out again today.

“I’m very proud of that and I think the club should be proud of that.”

Wenger, Klopp Comment On 3-3 Draw At Anfield

Wenger-Arsenal-LiverpoolArsenal Manager, Arsene Wenger, admits his team should have picked all three points in the thrilling 3-3 draw against Liverpool at Anfield.

Arsenal led 3-2 heading into injury time, but Joe Allen struck a dramatic late equaliser for Liverpool, although the result kept the gunners top of the Premier League.

Wenger commended his team for the fight in what he described as one of the most entertaining games of the season.

However, the Liverpool boss, Jurgen Klopp, insisted that his side were good value for a point after the draw with league leaders, Arsenal.

Klopp’s men took the lead twice through two Roberto Firmino goals, but were pegged back by Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud in what was a pulsating opening 25 minutes.

Arsenal’s French striker (Giroud) looked to have wrapped up the points when firing his second on 55 minutes, but Allen, who had only been on the pitch for eight minutes, struck as the clock ticked into injury time.

Chelsea Players Have To Be Humble – Mourinho

MourinhoChelsea manager, Jose Mourinho, has identified problems at both ends of the pitch as the primary reasons for his team’s defeat at Leicester City but believes a change of attitude can help turn their fortune around.

The manager was pleased with the fight his team showed in the final half-hour, but lamented defensive mistakes made for the home side’s goals and the wastefulness up front as the two factors that ensured the defending champions left the King Power Stadium empty-handed.

“I worked for four days on this match,” he said. “I prepared everything related to the opposition.

“I identified four movements where they score almost all of their goals. My players got all that information and training in the last three days. From the four types of situation I identified we conceded the first and the second goal. I think they listened and they are good enough, but the mistakes were there.

“I don’t want to focus only on the two goals we conceded, because in the past four or five matches we were defensively good and we had clean sheets,” he continued.

“We also have another problem which is the number of goals our attacking players are scoring, or in this case aren’t scoring. When we make defensive mistakes we are punished because we don’t score enough goals. The team pays for the number of goals our attacking players aren’t scoring.

“The good thing is the spirit – in the last 30 minutes they tried, they gave everything they had, they scored one goal, and they could have scored more.

“That’s the positive thing that makes me leave the dressing room with a feeling that isn’t as bad as the result, because in the last 30 minutes they were a team.

Eden Hazard was withdrawn with an injury during the first half having initially tried to play on.

Mourinho explained, “He made the decision in a few seconds. When he came off he said he couldn’t do it, a couple of seconds later he said he would try, and when he went back on two seconds later he immediately decided to go back off.”

With the January window approaching, Mourinho expressed his faith in his current players, “I don’t think it is right I go to the board and say these players are not good and we need to spend 50 or 100 or whatever.

“We have these players and it is with these players we have to go, and the players that are not performing well must feel attacked in their pride, in their self-esteem and they have to do everything to get results in a humble way.

“I don’t think they can feel they are top players or they are superstars. At the moment they have to be humble, they have to look to the Leicester boys and feel that they are the stars, they are the top players.

“They have to look to Sunderland and Watford and say: we are at the same level as you are. The players have to put their feet on their ground and be humble. We are where Sunderland are, we are below Watford by 10 points. The next two matches we play at Stamford Bridge we have to look to these opponents in a humble way.”

Chelsea Can Make Top Four, Mourinho Changes Tune

mourinhoJose Mourinho believes the competitive nature of this season’s Premier League means that if his side can put together a sequence of victories they still have a chance of finishing in the top four.

The manager was speaking to media at Cobham ahead of Monday’s trip to league leaders Leicester City, and this view is a sharp contrast to his earlier concession of the top four finish after the team’s 1-0 loss to AFC Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Mourinho said that there were no fresh injury concerns for Monday’s fixture against Leicester City, managed by Claudio Ranieri, the man he replaced when he first arrived at Stamford Bridge in 2004.

Earlier in the week Ranieri said he thinks the Blues are still more than capable of securing a top-four finish, and Mourinho agrees.

“First of all, it’s nice from him,” the Portuguese said. “Nobody has any doubt that he hasn’t forgotten his time at Chelsea. Everyone who is at this club for a certain period of time likes the club very much and Ranieri is showing the nice feeling he has, but I also believe what he says.

“Before we lost three points against Bournemouth I was absolutely convinced about finishing fourth in the table and I was convinced about a great December for us.

“The reality is that some clubs are doing well and some others are not capable of doing what they are used to. It’s not easy for the top clubs to win three, four, five or 10 matches in a row now, so who knows?

“If we can get a run of four or five consecutive victories, because none of the other clubs are doing that, maybe we have a chance to make up the distance and dream of finishing fourth. While mathematically it’s possible we have to try.”

He also praised the Foxes for their performances up until the moment.

“They deserve to be where they are, let’s be honest,’ said the Blues boss. “I said a couple of weeks ago I didn’t believe they can be champions and maybe I have to think twice because it’s one thing to be top in September after a beautiful start, another is to be top in December, that’s a completely different story, so if they are there and get result after result, it’s because they can win the title.

“It would be something magnificent, something to impress the football world but sometimes these things can happen, so why not?

“They are there because they are doing magnificently well, we are where we are because we are doing badly. We have the same potential as last season, the same manager, same players, so if we are where we are it’s because we are underperforming.

“He (Ranieri) is going to win the manager of the month award and he should win more than that, he should win manager of half-term. If you could give an award for the first six months of the competition everybody is miles away from him and every club is miles away from what Leicester are doing. I know the distance between them and Man United, Man City, Arsenal is only a few points but they are the ones who deserve all the respect and compliments.

“One year ago they were bottom of the league and Ranieri was sacked by the Greece national team for losing to the Faroe Islands, now he is the top manager in the Premier League and their players are top of the league. That’s the beauty, it’s fantastic.”

Mourinho, Wenger Commend Players’ UCL Win

Mourinho, Wenger Commend Players’ UCL Win Managers of English clubs, Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger, have praised their teams’ performance in Wednesday night’s UEFA Champions League (UCL).

Chelsea Manager, Jose Mourinho, commended the Blues for not being content with a draw as his side’s 2-0 win over his former club, FC Porto, saw them progress into the last-16 of the champions league.

FC Porto Manager, Julen Lopetegui, had earlier said Chelsea remained favourite for the tie, insisting that their poor EPL form would not have a bearing on the match.

Mourinho expressed joy that his under-fire players were able to rise to the challenge during a tense evening at Stamford Bridge.

In another development, Arsenal Manager, Arsene Wenger, has extolled the Gunners’ character after Olivier Giroud’s treble inspired rampant Arsenal to reach last 16 of the league.Arsenal

Arsenal needed an emphatic win to leapfrog Olympiakos into second place in group F and had Giroud to thank for leading the cavalry charge in a 3-0 victory.

Wenger praised the whole of his team, who came together to produce an unforgettable performance despite a catalogue of injuries to key players.

I was Nervous Before Sunderland Game – Wenger

wengerWenger has admitted that he was “nervous” before kick-off, but later found joy in Arsenal’s 3-1 victory against a robust Sunderland side on Saturday.

Arsène Wenger explained that his fears were because he knew the result would be “pivotal” to their season as victory would give his side confidence going into Wednesday’s Champions League decider at Olympiacos.

“In my mind I was a little bit more nervous than usual because I felt it was a pivotal game,” he told Arsenal Player. “It was our first game without the injured players and we absolutely had to win.

“We played against a difficult team who were well organised and good on the break, so all the ingredients were there for a disappointing result. Because we hadn’t won for three games people would have said we were in a crisis, so it was important to get the win.

“We were a bit edgy, a bit nervous, in the first half but in the second half we played with more freedom, fluency and incisiveness which is how we won the game. It was a tough one and if you look at the results in the Premier League it was like that.

“It’s been a good day for us, because we have won the game and that makes helps us prepare for Olympiacos. Secondly it puts us in an interesting position again and that’s all positive. The squad that was out there for Sunderland – the good news is that we won and that we don’t have any injuries. It makes it obvious for the media to guess who will go to Olympiacos.”

Joel Campbell, Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey were all on target in a convincing display at Emirates Stadium, as the Gunners ended their run of three games without a win in the Premier League.

Mourinho Gives Up On Top 4 Finish

MourinhoJose Mourinho has admitted Chelsea may have to accept that a top-four finish is beyond them.

The Barclays Premier League champions slumped to their eighth defeat of the season as Glenn Murray’s header sealed a shock 1-0 win for AFC Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Mourinho, whose side sit on 15 points, 14 behind fourth-placed Manchester United, believes that UEFA Champions League qualification may well be out of the question.

“Before the game I was still thinking we could finish top four,” he said.

“I am very disappointed with this result, not in the performance because in the second half the performance was good but let’s think about the next game and forget the targets because without consistency it’s difficult.”

Mourinho also criticised his team’s inability to convert the many crosses that were sent into the opponent’s goal area which his attackers could not connect with.

He considers them big chances that could have changed the outcome of the match.

Premier League: Arsenal, Chelsea Welcome Key Players

Premier LeagueArsenal have received a boost ahead of Sunderland’s trip to the Emirates with the news that defender Kieran Gibbs will be fit to return, while Theo Walcott and Laurent Koscielny are also in contention.

There are reports that Walcott and Koscielny could feature, but both will face a late fitness test prior to the game.

Walcott has spent almost two months on the sidelines after picking up a calf injury in Arsenal’s 3-0 Capital One Cup defeat at Sheffield Wednesday back in October, leaving Olivier Giroud as the club’s only fit striker with Danny Welbeck yet to feature this season.

Despite being in fourth place and without a win in three games, Arsenal could still go top of the Premier League with a victory, as table toppers Manchester City are just two points ahead of the North Londoners.

Chelsea Boosted By Return Of Courtois

Jose Mourinho is also pleased to welcome back goalkeeper Courtois, after knee surgery and is set to be involved when Eddie Howe’s men visit Stamford Bridge.

“We feel better, we feel safe,” the Chelsea manager said about the Belgian’s return. “He was our goalkeeper all last season and was fundamental for us.”

But Mourinho will be without John Terry (ankle), Ramires and Radamel Falcao (muscular injuries) while striker Loic Remy is available again after missing last week’s 0-0 draw with Tottenham Hotspur,

Hazard stated his confidence that Chelsea can kick on during the hectic match schedule in December.

Aguero And Toure Out For Stoke Trip

Meanwhile, Sergio Aguero and Yaya Toure are among seven players to have been ruled out of Manchester City’s trip to Stoke City on Saturday lunchtime.

It had been hoped that Aguero would be available for the trip to the Britannia Stadium, where they have only won one of their last seven league matches, but the striker has been ruled out with the heel injury he suffered against Southampton last weekend.

And Toure also misses out after picking up a muscle problem. He joins Captain Vincent Kompany, Samir Nasri, Patrick Roberts and Pablo Zabaleta on the sidelines, while Eliaquim Mangala is suspended after picking up a fifth yellow card on Matchweek 14.

Premier League Week 15 Fixtures

Saturday 5 December 2015

12:45    Stoke v Man City             Britannia Stadium

15:00    Arsenal v Sunderland    Emirates Stadium

15:00    Man Utd v West Ham     Old Trafford

15:00    Southampton v Aston Villa         St. Mary’s Stadium

15:00    Swansea v Leicester       Liberty Stadium

15:00    Watford v Norwich        Vicarage Road

15:00    West Brom v Spurs         The Hawthorns

17:30    Chelsea v Bournemouth               Stamford Bridge

Sunday 6 December 2015

16:00    Newcastle v Liverpool  St. James’ Park

Monday 7 December 2015

20:00    Everton v Crystal Palace

Arsenal Stars Vow To Regroup And Recover

ArsenalArsenal’s senior players, Petr Cech and Mathieu Flamini have been rallying their colleagues to regroup and recover quickly after Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to West Bromwich Albion.

Olivier Giroud put the Gunners in front just before the half-hour mark, before the hosts hit back with two goals in the space of five minutes before half time.

Santi Cazorla then missed a late penalty as Arsène Wenger’s side slipped to their first Premier League defeat in seven games.

“The penalty, it can happen and Santi falling… there is nothing you can do,” Flamini told Arsenal Player. “We tried and tried and tried until the last minute but we can’t give any excuses – today we lost the three points.

“It’s a shame because we started the game well, we went 1-0 up and then after they scored [twice] before half time it became more difficult for us.

“We tried to push on in the second half, we had some opportunities but of course it is disappointing because we didn’t get any points.

“Sometimes it happens and now it is important to recover and focus on the next game.”

Goalkeeper, Petr Cech believes Arsenal were the better team but it was just one of those days for them.

“I think we don’t want to take credit from West Brom but across the 90 minutes we were the better side. We had chances and a lot of opportunities and we were unlucky as we scored an own goal. Apart of that, we were on top of them and looked like the side that was going to win the game, even in the second half.

“I thought when we had the penalty that we would still have a chance to search for the third goal but it was one of those games where it was not going our way. But I like our reaction and although everything went against us a bit, we kept going until the last minute and were still creating opportunities. We have to regroup and continue working,” he said.

Arsenal, Manchester City Suffer Costly Defeats

ArsenalArsenal missed the chance to go top of the Premier League as West Brom came from behind to win 2-1 at the Hawthorns on Saturday.

Olivier Giroud headed home Mesut Ozil’s free kick to put the Gunners in front, but a James Morrison volley and a Mikel Arteta own goal turned things around in a five-minute spell before the break.

Late in the game, Arsenal were awarded a penalty after Sanchez was felled in the box but Cazorla slipped as he took it and the ball sailed over the bar.

Arsenal kept knocking for the remainder of the game but failed to salvage the situation.

Wenger told the media after the match, “It was a bad afternoon, we missed a penalty, we gave a goal away on set-piece, that is perfect to make your afternoon a nightmare and we missed open goal chances.

“I believe that West Brom were strong in the fight and they had 100% commitment as well and you have to give them credit for that. But overall I felt it dropped a huge blow when we scored and we just had to make sure they didn’t come back with an easy goal and that is where we were disappointed today.

“But I cannot be mad at the team because they gave what they could until the last minute but we lost a bit of focus at 1-0 – at 35 minutes we were 1-0 up and then at 45 we were 2-1 down. Our defending on that level was very, very poor.”

The result means Arsenal have not yet won in November in all competitions, as they turn their attention to the Champions League clash with Dinamo Zagreb in midweek.

In another shocking result on the day, Liverpool trashed Manchester City 4-1 at the Etihad, helping Leicester City move top of the table with a 3-0 win over Newcastle United.

Meanwhile, Diego Costa ended a three-match losing streak for Chelsea as the champions picked up a 1-0 victory over Norwich City.

The striker halted his own barren run of 603 minutes without a goal in all competitions to lift Chelsea spirits at Stamford Bridge.

EPL Results

Watford 1 – 2 Manchester United
Chelsea 1 – 0 Norwich City
Everton 4 – 0 Aston Villa
Newcastle United 0 – 3 Leicester City
Southampton 0 – 1 Stoke City
Swansea City 2 – 2 AFC Bournemouth
West Bromwich Albion 2 – 1 Arsenal
Manchester City 1 – 4 Liverpool

Wenger Hails Joel Campbell’s Arsenal Resurgence

ArsenalArsène Wenger feels that Joel Campbell’s loan spells helped his strength of character.

The Costa Rica international was in fine form in Saturday’s 3-0 win at Swansea and scored his first Arsenal goal with a calm finish.

Wenger believes Campbell’s strike was important for his confidence, having had limited game time since his return to the club.

“I think he wanted to go (in the summer) because he didn’t play, which you can understand and as well because he didn’t play at all,” he said.

“Sometimes people want you to buy more and more players but after a while you have to look at your own players.

“He comes from Costa Rica, to get out of there and to come to (England) and to go to different leagues and survive, you need some character and he has shown that again today. In our job, all you can do is be ready and when you get your chance, take it and I think he did.

“When he came back he was on the waiting list and finally he got the chance and I’m very happy for him.

“I think he worked very hard, defended very well, created chances in the first half – he had that shot that was not that far off. He had another shot and in the second half he scored a goal and on top of that he worked very hard.”

Arsène Wenger added that he always knew that Joel Campbell had the attributes to succeed at Arsenal.

Meanwhile, Campbell has also expressed his joy at scoring his first goal for the club.

“I’m very happy,” he told Arsenal Player. “I had to wait for this moment and now we have to keep working to strengthen our team.

“I’m very happy but the important thing is the team wins. We had a good game so we have to keep going and prepare for the next game against Bayern Munich.

“The fans were incredible. They supported us the whole game and it was very important for us.”

The sweet away victory also saw Olivier Giroud scoring Arsenal’s 2,000th goal under Arsène Wenger.

The striker struck the opener in Saturday’s 3-0 win at Swansea to continue his fine run of six goals in as many games for club and country.

Arsenal now head to Munich on Wednesday to take on the German Champions, Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena in the Champions League.

Arsène Wenger’s side became the first team to beat Bayern Munich since the German Super Cup when winning their Champions League Group F fixture 2-0 at Emirates Stadium recently.

Guardiola Says Bayern Lack ‘Killer Instinct’

Guardiola Says Bayern Lack 'Killer Instinct'Bayern Munich coach, Pep Guardiola, says he is disappointed with his team’s performance, as he struggled to explain the Bundesliga giants’ 2-0 loss to Arsenal on Tuesday night.

The German side, which controlled huge swathes of the Group F game at the Emirates, had 68% of the ball, carved out several great chances, but unusually lacked a killer instinct in front of goal.

Until the disappointing loss, Bayern had won the 12 games they had played in all competitions, setting a Bundesliga record of nine straight victories from the start of the season.

Meanwhile, Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, had expressed satisfaction with the Gunners performance at Emirates Stadium.Wenger

He said he was delighted that his team reproduced their recent outstanding premier league form to revive their faltering European fortunes with the 2-0 win over Bayern.

For long periods, it seemed the English side were either going to lose, or at best secure a draw.

A 77th-minute header from substitute Olivier Giroud and a stoppage-time second from Germany international, Mesut Ozil gave them an unexpected but hugely important victory.

The result means Arsenal have revived their chances of qualifying for the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League for the 16th successive season, even as they trail Bayern and Olympiakos by three points.