Wenger blames Man United defeat for Southampton draw

Date published: Monday 11th December 2017 7:31

Arsene Wenger believes his Arsenal defenders were suffering a hangover from the defeat to Manchester United as they started sluggishly at Southampton on Sunday.

Charlie Austin fired the hosts ahead in just the third minute, capitalising on a lackadaisical start from the Gunners back line.

Skipper Per Mertesacker returned to the starting line-up with Shkodran Mustafi injured and the German gifted possession to Austin, who exchanged passes with Dusan Tadic to give Saints the lead.

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Arsenal rallied late on to earn a point as substitute Olivier Giroud headed home with two minutes remaining, but a point leaves Wenger’s men outside the top four heading into the midweek fixtures.

Wenger conceded after the game that the 3-1 loss to United last weekend was still on the minds of his players when the game at St Mary’s got under way.

“I felt that the Manchester United game played a bit of a part in the head of our defenders,” he said.

“It was a bit in their head and they were a bit apprehensive to start well again and that’s why it is sometimes not good to talk about the problem because you create a bigger one.

“I’m not happy with the point because I wanted three, but if you cannot win it, don’t lose it and we kept going.

“We were relentless, after a difficult start we were caught cold and overall it was a windy, rainy afternoon against a team who played well and were quick on the counter-attack.”

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