Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Wenger can´t predict next title twist

SoccerNews in English Premier League 5 Mar 2016

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Arsene Wenger was unwilling to predict the outcome of the Premier League title race after 10-man Arsenal battled to a pulsating 2-2 draw at Tottenham on Saturday.

Aaron Ramsey opened the scoring six minutes before half-time in the north London derby but a red card for Francis Coquelin checked Arsenal’s progress.

Toby Alderweireld equalised with an hour played before Harry Kane fired a stunning second.

Wenger’s men secured a share of the spoils when the impressive Alexis Sanchez struck 15 minutes from time at White Hart Lane.

Quizzed on which team is now likely to finish first, the manager said: “I don’t know, I don’t know what to say any more about that because everybody drops points.

“So let’s see what happens over the weekend. I think we have to take encouragement from our performance today and reproduce that until the end of the season. Then we might have a chance.

“I don’t know [if it is our best chance for a number of years], maybe you are right. Last year we had no chance, three or four years ago I think were in the race.”

Heavy criticism followed consecutive Premier League losses against Manchester United and Swansea City, Wenger acknowledging the Gunners are weighed down by the burden of expectation: “I must tell you, the pressure of our supporters is relentless and I am in a good position to tell you that.

“We have to deal with that and we now have to go on a run again.

“If Leicester win the game at Watford they are in a very strong position,” he added, referring to Saturday’s late kick-off between the league leaders and the Hornets at Vicarage Road.

“We are in a position where we need to rely on other teams like Leicester.”

Wenger accepted Coquelin’s dismissal was deserved, but the Arsenal boss was critical of referee Michael Oliver for not issuing a second yellow card to Eric Dier when the Tottenham midfielder pulled back Olivier Giroud during the closing stages.

“I think referees should come in a press conference after a game,” he said. 

“We are questioned so they should be questioned as well.”

Sanchez’s display, crowned by his first Premier League goal since October, gave Wenger cause for more positive reflection.

“He had a great attitude and I hope that will give him the confidence and encouragement he needs,” he said.

“I hope the goal will give him a lift and we will see a different Alex now.”

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