Arsenal played a much better second half and was able to level up with Manchester United to bring a point back from Northern England. They fell first to Ander Herrera’s volley inspiration and it was hard to imagine the Gunners coming back with anything and potentially lose the third spot in the Premier League. Arsenal came close to win it after the score was level. With only one last game to play and at home 1st4 football tickets has the best seat for Sunderland next Wednesday. Don’t miss out!
Coach Wenger (Arsenal) satisfies with the result:
On the second-half performance…
I am pleased with the performance. The only regret I have is that we didn’t take the three points in the second half. We started the first half slowly, Manchester United were sharper at the beginning, and we were a bit stretched as well width and length-wise. The second half we were more compact and we took over. We showed a great response and got a deserved point.
on why Arsenal started slowly…
We were a bit too timid, too conservative in our possession and a bit too far from each other as well. In the second half we were more compact and we had good opportunities on the counter. We were quicker and we had enough chances to win the game in the end.
on only needing one more point to secure third place…
It takes the pressure off the holidays and in the preparations because you always have that in mind when you prepare. It will be great when we do it, but it’s still to do. We have two home games so let’s focus on the next one and we can secure that on Wednesday against Sunderland.
on finishing third…
Satisfaction is always a tricky question. If they’d asked me in October then I would have said yes. Overall of course you want to be first but 17 teams would exchange position with you. It is a continuity in our results and it is a platform to do better next season. That’s our aim.
on how close Arsenal are to challenging for the title…
That’s difficult to say because you don’t know how strong the teams will be next year. Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool will all be on the market so it’s difficult to know. I believe that we’ve come out of the season and we feel we have made progress in the Premier League compared to last season because we were consistent against the smaller teams then but this season we are stronger against the big teams. That’s a big platform to do better.
Coach Van Gaal regrets the lack of finishing
“It is a pity because in spite of a lot of injuries we were [the] better [team] for one hour. You have to finish these games though.
“You can say that we are unlucky because it is the third deflected goal in a row that we have conceded. I have said to our players though, that it is not unlucky, you have to force the luck. We were better than our opponents for one hour but only 1-0 up. After that, when you see Arsenal wanting to get back into the game, you have to stick together and play more compact – not be as open as we were.”
Sunday’s result means Arsenal effectively require just a point from their last two games to secure third position, a scenario that would leave United – already guaranteed fourth spot – to face a Champions League qualifying tie to reach the competition proper.
“We have to play a qualifying round now. We have not qualified for the Champions League yet. It could be very stressful – you can meet an opponent who is midway through their season. It is not so easy and we have to realise that. [But] of course I am satisfied because we set our goal at the start of the season [to finish in the top four] and we have reached that goal.”