Give us the same time to rest be­fore play­ing – Wenger

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT -

ARSE­NAL man­ager Arsene Wenger felt he was forced to in­clude in­jured play­ers as his side bat­tled back from 3-0 down to sal­vage a point at Bournemouth.

Olivier Giroud’s in­jury-time header com­pleted a come­back af­ter the Cher­ries had en­joyed a three-goal ad­van­tage un­til the 70th minute.

Yet Wenger was still far from happy at hav­ing to play the game on the south coast just 48 hours af­ter the 2-0 win over Crys­tal Palace, giv­ing their op­po­nents an ex­tra day to pre­pare.

“It was a phys­i­cal test and a men­tal test,” said Wenger. “Con­grat­u­la­tions to them but, as well, it is too un­even to have only two days to play against a team who had over three days of rest.

“Hec­tor Bel­lerin had a knock, was un­cer­tain to play, that is the prob­lem when you had 48 hours. We had three or four play­ers who we had to wait on till the warm-up.

“I’m ready to play again tomorrow as long as I play against an op­po­nent who played to­day as well. That is what I call fair. All the rest, we have to play when we are told to play. We want to play against a team with the same time of rest and prepa­ra­tion as us.”

Even op­po­site num­ber Ed­die Howe ad­mit­ted his side had been handed an ad­van­tage.

“I’m not go­ing to deny that will have had an im­pact on the game but that’s why you change the squad,” he said. “You can imag­ine what the mood’s like and that is a real shame as they should be con­grat­u­lated.”

Bournemouth pro­duced a stun­ning per­for­mance in the first hour with Char­lie Daniels, Cal­lum Wil­son and Ryan Fraser ef­forts putting them on course for an un­likely three points.

How­ever, Alexis Sanchez and Lu­cas Perez started the come­back with Giroud scor­ing with his head two days on from his spec­tac­u­lar ef­fort against Palace.

“The scorpion goal was not (worth) two goals so I’m pleased to score the equaliser but I’m still dis­ap­pointed,” he said. “The way we played at the end, even a man up, makes me think we should have done bet­ter. But at least we came back.”

Bournemouth had cap­tain Si­mon Fran­cis dis­missed eight min­utes from the end for a tackle on Aaron Ram­sey.

“The send­ing off did not help, whether it was the defin­ing fac­tor I’m not sure,” added Howe.

“I don’t think it was a send­ing off, Si­mon’s gone in com­mit­ted, he’s not lifted his studs.”

Mean­while de­fender Leighton Baines says Ever­ton must build on their fes­tive sea­son mo­men­tum for the sec­ond half of the sea­son.

A 3-0 home win over Southamp­ton in the Premier League on Mon­day made it seven points from a pos­si­ble nine over Christ­mas and New Year for the Mersey­side club.

Baines wants to take this rich vein of form to their FA Cup third-round clash against Le­ices­ter City on Satur­day.

“It is tough go­ing for ev­ery­one over this pe­riod but to come away with a 3-0 vic­tory is good for us,” the 32-year-old said.

“It gives us con­fi­dence, that comes with win­ing games. The im­por­tant thing is now to go and build on it.

“We have an im­por­tant game in the FA Cup and if we can get a win in that the place will be lifted,” Baines added. “We had good cup runs last year so we’ll look to do that lit­tle bit bet­ter this year.”

Ever­ton won their last FA Cup tro­phy in 1995 with a 1-0 vic­tory over Manch­ester United.

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