Tuesday, October 19, 2021

We passed a physical, mental test, says Wenger

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Arsenal’s French manager Arsene Wenger / AFP PHOTO / IKIMAGES / Glyn KIRK

• Bournemouth appeal Francis red card
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said his side “refused to lose the game” as they came back from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 at Bournemouth.

It was the first time the Gunners had recovered from a three-goal deficit to draw a Premier League match.

“It was a physical and mental test – they started much faster but we showed we are mentally strong,” Wenger said.

“At 3-0 down after 70 minutes you’d take a point, but in the end we were frustrated not to win the game.”

Charlie Daniels, a Callum Wilson penalty and Ryan Fraser put Bournemouth on top by the hour mark but Alexis Sanchez and substitute Lucas Perez hit back before Olivier Giroud levelled in stoppage time.

“We wanted to win the game and we wanted three points, but on the other hand some big teams have dropped points here,” Wenger added. “We had to cope with the pace of Bournemouth, who scored four against Liverpool here.

“But when you’re 3-0 down you have to acknowledge the quality of the response of your team.”

Meanwhile, Bournemouth are to appeal captain Simon Francis’ sending off in the thrilling 3-3 Premier League draw with Arsenal, the club said yesterday.

Francis was shown a straight red by referee Michael Oliver for his challenge on Arsenal’s Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey with Bournemouth leading 3-2.

“CAF Bournemouth have appealed against Simon Francis’ red card after the defender was sent off during Tuesday’s match with Arsenal. The club will hear the outcome by the end of the week,” the club said in a statement on their website.

If their appeal fails Francis will miss the next three games, the FA Cup third round tie with Millhall and Premier League matches with strugglers Hull and Watford.

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