Arsene Wenger is pleased by his side’s performance against Manchester City despite the fact his touring side were defeated 2-0 in China.
In their second pre-season friendly of the week the Gunners played zippy, attractive football but were ultimately downed by two goals on the break by Pablo Zabaleta and Yaya Toure in the five minutes before half time.
Speaking after the match in Beijing’s Bird’s Nest stadium, the boss played up the positives of the showpiece fixture.
“It was lively and both teams tried to play. I think we were quite dominant in the first half but suddenly found ourselves down 2-0 against the run of play.
“I feel Manchester City played on a very solid defence with five real defenders and we played forward without calculating too much.
“We were a bit vulnerable on the counter-attack and that is where we got caught. But overall what is important for us is to see everybody play and give everybody competition. We lasted 90 minutes at quite a good level.”
In review, Gervinho ran with purpose in the first half, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was bright after the break, Abou Diaby avoided injury and youngsters Ignasi Miquel, Chuks Aneke, Thomas Eisfeld and Benik Afobe all secured more game time.
Of course, despite the excitement on the pitch when it comes to post-match press conferences the media are drooling for only one thing – HEADLINES ABOUT ROBIN VAN PERSIE…
Obviously bored of such chat, the boss dismissively retorted:
“We could come back forever on Van Persie. We have our main strikers at home and Van Persie is one of them. But we have Podolski and Giroud who are at home, so we have plenty of strikers.
“For us at the moment it is to prepare for the season – it is more than any individual player.”
In a similarly bored fashion, Wenger also played down the report in Marca (subsequently revised) that Arsenal had sealed a deal to sign Turkish midfielder Nuri Sahin on loan:
“We did not sign anybody today, this report is wrong. We are not signing anybody at the moment – we are not close. In the future you never know.”