Wenger fury as Arsenal given scare by Preston
Arsène Wenger admitted that he had been angry with his Arsenal players at half-time, when they trailed Championship club Preston North End before coming back to win the FA Cup thirdround tie 2-1, with goals from Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud.
On a day of several shocks and in which Wayne Rooney equalled Sir Bobby Charlton’s Manchester United scoring record in their 4-0 win over Reading, Arsenal’s French striker was on the mark for the fourth consecutive game since his recall against West Bromwich Albion on Boxing Day.
Wenger said he was upset at halftime when Arsenal trailed to Callum Robinson’s goal. “Yes, I was angry,” he said. “We are a top-level Premier League side and we were dominated in the first half, Preston had chances and we were just not at the pace of the game that the game demanded.”
The Arsenal manager praised Giroud, who he had made captain, having only started him in a league game for the first time against West Brom. “He [Giroud] went through a period where he was in discomfort as he didn’t play and during this period he kept his focus and worked, so I thought he has shown leadership qualities, which is why I made him captain.”
At Old Trafford, Rooney scored his 249th goal for Manchester United to equal the watching Charlton’s club record, as Jose Mourinho’s side eased to a 4-0 win. “It’s a proud moment, especially to do it at such a massive club,” said Rooney. “I am hugely honoured to be up there in terms of goals with Sir Bobby. Hopefully, I will be out there on my own soon.”
With Arsenal and United both avoiding embarrassing early exits, the biggest shock of the day came at The Den, where League One team Millwall beat Premier League side Bournemouth 3-0. The win came just days after it was announced that Millwall may have to leave their stadium because of a land dispute with Lewisham Council, and Neil Harris, their manager, was delighted with his side’s efforts. “I said to the players, 3-0 doesn’t flatter us. In my opinion we could have scored more,” he said.
Stourbridge, of the Northern Premier League, were denied a replay against Wycombe by Adebayo Akinfenwa’s late winner, but there were upsets as Premier League sides Stoke and West Brom lost at home to Wolves and Derby respectively.