Wenger ready to ac­cept Xhaka red card

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

AR­SE­NAL man­ager Arsene Wenger has re­vealed he will not be ap­peal­ing the red card given to Granit Xhaka dur­ing the Gun­ners’ nar­row 3-2 win over Swansea City. The mid­fielder was con­tro­ver­sially sent off 20 min­utes from the end of the week­end’s match at the Emi­rates Sta­dium for a late tackle on Modou Bar­row.

That forced the North Lon­don­ers to hang on to a vic­tory which sent them level on points with Premier League lead­ers Manch­ester City.

But de­spite be­liev­ing Xhaka had been on the re­ceiv­ing end of a rough de­ci­sion, Wenger said he would not con­test the dis­missal.

“The send­ing off looked harsh,” said Wenger. “It was a def­i­nite foul but prob­a­bly dark yel­low. The ref­eree went for a dark red. Will I be ap­peal­ing it? No.”

“He is not a dirty player. Do I need to speak to him? No. I think Bar­row made a lot of it but you have to re­spect the de­ci­sion. He has to learn from it.”

“We kept our de­fen­sive shape with 10 men. Ev­ery­one was com­pletely fo­cused.”

Ar­se­nal were seem­ingly in con­trol at 2-0 and 3-1 after Theo Wal­cott cap­i­talised on de­fen­sive mis­takes to score twice in seven min­utes in the first half be­fore Gylfi Sig­urds­son pulled a goal back for Swansea.

A stun­ning vol­ley from Me­sut Ozil re­stored Ar­se­nal’s two-goal cush­ion in the sec­ond half only for a goal by Swansea’s Borja Bas­ton and Xhaka’s red card to set up a nervy fin­ish for the home side.

“A com­fort­able af­ter­noon fin­ished in an un­com­fort­able way but we got over the line,” said Wenger. “We played in patches some fan­tas­tic foot­ball. We got over the line be­cause we played with spirit.”

“Theo could have had a hat-trick and even four. But he scored two goals and has six [for the sea­son] now.”

“Ozil’s goal was a great goal. When you see his fin­ish­ing you think he does not take his chances to shoot enough. In train­ing he scores ba­si­cally when he wants,” the vet­eran French boss added.

“I have some mixed feel­ings be­cause it looked at some points com­fort­able and then it never was.”

“We have the same num­ber of points as Manch­ester City so it’s down to us to con­tinue. If you look at the game the po­ten­tial is very in­ter­est­ing but we have to be in­tel­li­gent enough to im­prove.”

This was Amer­i­can Bob Bradley’s first game in English foot­ball and there were enough pos­i­tive points for the Swansea man­ager to be­lieve that the Welsh club can move away from the drop zone de­spite now sit­ting sec­ond-bot­tom with just four points.

“None of us walk out of here feel­ing good, but we’ve had a good week of train­ing and we can see some good things that hap­pened,” Bradley said.

“That game had many dif­fer­ent parts. We started poorly. De­fen­sively, the first two goals were not han­dled well, but we gave our­selves a real chance.”

“We are con­fi­dent we can turn this around. After the week of train­ing we have just had, and the men­tal­ity of the team, for me we are go­ing to be­come a good team.”

“We were slow to step out. We gave them too much space ... We showed them too much re­spect.”

“And it co­in­cided with con­ced­ing poor goals but some­where in there we even­tu­ally played with more con­fi­dence, we closed down more and we saw mo­ments where we showed we could press.”

“But we kept at it and there was some things I saw that we can build on. I don’t ex­pect the fans to be sat­is­fied, but like me I hope they saw a few things they liked and we can use as a start­ing point.” - AFP

Photo: AFP

Ar­se­nal’s play­ers cel­e­brate after scor­ing their sec­ond goal dur­ing the English Premier League match with Swansea City.

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