Arsene Wenger believes that Manchester City’s second goal in the Carabao Cup final should have been ruled out for offside, but he accepts that Pep Guardiola’s side deserved their 3-0 win at Wembley.
The Premier League’s runaway leaders outplayed Arsenal from start to finish as goals from Sergio Aguero, Vincent Kompany and David Silva denied the Frenchman a first League Cup triumph of his 21-year tenure.
Speaking after the game, Wenger lamented his side’s defensive lapses in concentration and called on his players to bounce back when the two sides meet again on Thursday in the league at the Emirates.
“We had the first good chance and a very easy one that we missed,” he told Sky Sports.
“After that we made a very big mistake on the first goal. We controlled them quite well in the first half.
“Second half, I felt we had a poor start. We were unlucky as well, because the second goal is offside. After that it was too much for us.
“I wanted to make a change at 2-0 but the game didn’t stop. After 3-0 it was late [to make a change]. Congratulations to Manchester City, they deserved the win.”
While Wenger refused to point the blame at specific players, he admitted that you can’t avoid criticism when you concede three times in an important match.
“When you lose games and make mistakes you have to accept to be criticised,” he went on.
“It’s emotionally difficult, after a game in a final, you do not want to go too much into criticism, that’s the easiest part.
“We have to recover quickly. We came to the final and at the end of the day, we lost, it’s true. Now we have to focus on the next Premier League game [against Manchester City on Thursday].
“When you lost 3-0, you have to look at defending better. I still feel that sometimes in periods of the game we defended well and suddenly we lose concentration, against quality opposition you pay for it.
“It’s not the application that was missing, it’s lapses in concentration in important moments of the game [that cost us]. I believe we were a bit unlucky on the second goal, I’ve just watched it again, it was an important goal in this game and it was 100 per cent offside.
“We analyse always the game in a very mathematical way. We didn’t give too many chances away today but we gave easy chances away today. Also, we didn’t create enough.”