Given his side’s toothless display at Old Trafford Arsene Wenger was unsurprisingly magnanimous in defeat when speaking to the press after the game.
Despite fielding a near full strength side against Manchester United, Arsenal never really threatened although the final 2-1 scoreline suggests a closer game than was actually the case.
“I’m disappointed of course, because we had a lot of the ball but we were not very efficient in our final third or in their final third,” Wenger reflected.
“You feel it was a bit [of] an illusionary domination. We had a lot of the ball but they created more chances and deserved to win the game.
“Part of that is down to the fact that we gave an early goal away. In a game like that, that’s a massive advantage [for Manchester United]. Then they defended well, were sharper than us in the duels and the consequence is you lose the game.”
As is customary on visits to Manchester United, Arsenal had a player sent off and conceded a penalty. While Wenger didn’t quite go so far as to suggest they were game-changing decisions, he still hinted that referee Mike Dean had acted harshly.
“We always have a penalty against us when we play Manchester United so we get used to it,” he said of the handball given against Santi Cazorla, before turning his attention to the red card for Jack Wilshere.
“It looked harsh from the stand, the second yellow. I considered taking him off but we had to go forward and attack. We were not in a position where we could defend and we didn’t have a lot of midfield offensive options on the bench.
“I think we were a bit unlucky, especially with the penalty decision. We had the better chances but overall in a game like this you ought to not put yourself on the back foot when you are one down.”
With a vital game on Tuesday night away at Schalke he’s going to have to re-motivate the players very quickly to prevent a rotten few weeks turning into a terminal decline.