Lack of ur­gency cost us semi­fi­nal:Wenger

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

ARSENE WENGER said Arse­nal’s lack of ur­gency early in the match and not his team se­lec­tion was to blame for the Lon­don club’s 2-0 League Cup quar­ter­fi­nal loss to Southamp­ton yes­ter­day.

Southamp­ton will take on Liver­pool in the semi­fi­nals after first half goals from Jordy Clasie and Ryan Ber­trand got them past a weak­ened Arse­nal side and into the last four for the first time since 1987.

“We didn’t have enough ur­gency in the first half. We were weak in some de­part­ments and we paid for that,” Wenger (right) told re­porters.

“We gave our­selves a moun­tain to climb. We were not good enough de­fen­sively and gave cheap goals away... it was one of th­ese nights where we looked like we could play for two hours with­out scor­ing a goal.”

Wenger made 10 changes to his side from the team that beat Bournemouth last weekend but would not ac­cept that as a rea­son for the de­feat.

“I don’t think the prob­lem was there. We had play­ers who are used to top-level com­pe­ti­tion, but I think we maybe didn’t have the right ur­gency from the start,” the 67-year-old added.

“We were not in­ci­sive enough in the first half, es­pe­cially. In the se­cond half they played very deep and were sharper than us.”

Southamp­ton man­ager Claude Puel made eight changes from the side that beat Ever­ton at the weekend and, al­though im­pressed the vic­tory, warned against com­pla­cency.

“We moved the team at the start with dif­fer­ent play­ers and the an­swer from them was fan­tas­tic,” Puel told the club web­site. (www.southamp­tonfc. com)

“We will see for the fu­ture of the com­pe­ti­tion, but for now we have no time to be sat­is­fied and happy be­cause it’s im­por­tant ... to make a good re­sult in the Premier League and then we have a very im­por­tant fi­nal game in the Europa League.” – Reuters

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