Premier League – Arsenal 2-2 Manchester City

Coach Arsenal Wenger reacts:

on his team’s performance in a big game…
I think we produced a game of top quality. It was a game of top quality between two very good teams, played at tremendous pace, especially in the first half. We were unlucky to be 1-0 down in the first half and we did something remarkable to come back and be in a leading position. The only frustrating thing for me is that we didn’t manage to keep the lead and gave a cheap goal away. That’s where we have room for improvement because it was a very encouraging game but the way we conceded the second goal nearly killed our game because we could have lost afterwards – it was just a mental blow. But overall I think it was a top quality game.

on the quality of Arsenal’s goals…
It was done by two players who had very good games today; [Alexis] Sanchez and Wilshere. They were rewarded for their performances and took their goals very well.

on the problems at the back…
We conceded two goals and I believe we are an offensive team. We go forward a lot but at the moment that’s where we can improve.

on Jack Wilshere’s performance…
He’s coming back physically to his level where he can be. Unfortunately it takes time to find that fraction of a second where you feel you can make a difference and it’s so important in the modern game to get away from people when you win the ball. It looks like today was the first time he found it on a consistent level through the 90 minutes.

on Manchester City’s tackling…
Both managers were frustrated because I heard Pellegrini was not happy with some of the decisions of the referee. All of them? Yes, maybe. In the first half they stopped us from going out on the break by systematically fouling. Even if the referee gave the foul, the yellow card came a bit too late in my opinion to be completely satisfied and get rid of that systematic four that stopped us in our game. We had great pace in our game today and they stopped that an an intelligent way. They are a mature team and intelligent but it was not an easy game to referee as well.

on his defensive back-up…
You can ask me who I will buy and I can just tell you the transfer market is closed at the moment. But we have Chambers – we bought him for that [defensive cover]. At the start to play centre-back or right-back. Debuchy would have been suspended in Dortmund and Chambers was planned to play instead of him, and we have Bellerin as well who can play there.

on Welbeck’s performance…
He did well. I believe that he needs to develop his link play with our players but that is a bit normal. It’s sad that he couldn’t take his chance but overall every time he had an opportunity to find some space he looked dangerous. There are some things to work on with him to integrate him well into our game but I’m happy with his first game.

Coach Manchester City Pellegrini reacts:

“It was a great game between two great teams who always try to play – both teams are very creative”. 

“Today I think that both Arsenal goals were very clear fouls – for the first one, it was two or three fouls continuous fouls on Aguero and the second one Welbeck pushed Kompany with no intention of playing the ball and then it was a goal.

“The only other doubt is that we were denied a clear penalty for a handball. Last season, it was Skrtel with a fist for Liverpool in the six-yard box and today it was Wilshere with two hands on the ball inside the box right in front of the linesman and no penalty was given.

“So I’m satisfied with a draw but, I repeat, it will be very difficult for us to retain the title”. 

“We had more possession and more clear chances against a very good team, as well as chances to win the game with Dzeko and Kolarov at the end. I am satisfied with the way my team played”.

“It will be very hard [to retain the title] because all the teams want to beat us – I think that we have difficult decisions from the referee, not just today but in the last game against Stoke where we were denied a clear penalty”.

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