Arsene Wenger says Arsenal became nervous after conceding a soft penalty to Bournemouth but fought back well to secure their first league win of November.
Alexis Sanchez scored a brace and Theo Walcott bagged a rare headed goal as the Gunners ran out 3-1 winners against Eddie Howe’s pleasing-on-the-eye Cherries.
“My view is that we should have had a penalty for a foul on Alexis, and that the penalty which was given [against us] was a very soft one,” said the boss after the game. It was a shoulder-to-shoulder challenge and I was really amazed that he gave a penalty.
“It was a shoulder-to-shoulder challenge and I was really amazed that he gave a penalty.
“From that moment on, we became nervous and they suddenly because more dynamic going forward. We lost some balls and put ourselves in trouble. We had to calm down at half-time and just focus on the game.”
Having made seven changes from the side that drew with Paris Saint Germain on Wednesday, the boss also took a moment to highlight the strength in depth at his disposal.
“It’s as well the first time I made seven changes compared to Wednesday night. When you go in the Premier League, I think it’s a long time since I have done that, to change seven players, keeper included to go from a Champions League game into a Premier League game. That’s why I have top-quality players on the bench.”
In addition to the changes to the starting XI the boss was also forced to field Gabriel at right-back when Mathieu Debuchy, a late replacement at right-back for Carl Jenkinson, went off injured.
It was an experiment that looked uncomfortable at first before the Brazilian grew in stature.
“When I picked the squad I imagined that something could happen to Debuchy,” reflected Wenger.
“I had Francis Coquelin ready to play right back as well because he can play there, but I went for Gabriel because he’s a defender and is very quick. He adapted well. I watched tapes of him playing full back at Villarreal. On two or three occasions he played at left back and I found just one tape of him playing at right back. He was playing in Brazil and I must say that it was not super convincing, but today he did well.”