Speaking after the 3-2 defeat at Old Trafford, Arsene Wenger admitted that reputation counts for little in football. Gunning for the title, Arsenal suffered a big setback as a second-string Manchester United lineup held up Arsene Wenger’s title run.
Two goals in quick succession from Marcus Rashford set the tone for the fixture as Arsenal were left chasing the game. Despite fielding a significantly weaker lineup, Manchester United put forth a strong performance that saw Arsenal fall 5 points behind Leicester City in the race for the Premier League title.
Cannot question our desire or commitment
As reported by ESPN, Wenger admitted that United’s ‘young strikers’ put forth a convincing performance to earn three crucial points for Louis van Gaal.
“Yes they had young strikers, but they have quality. It’s not the name that counts, it’s the performance. And their strikers put a good performance in.”
While Wenger and his team drew a lot of criticism from fans and pundits alike, the manager refused to questions his players’ commitment following the defeat.
“Our spirit, our commitment was 100 percent there. But it’s difficult to win away from home when you concede three goals.
“Apart from that I could not question out desire or commitment at all.”
Van Gaal — I was a little bit emotional, too much I think
Speaking after the match, Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal apologised for his theatrical protest during the game. While the Dutchman’s antics on the sidelines drew a lot of applause on social media, he was quick to apologise for his actions.
Van Gaal was quoted by the club website as saying: “I was a little bit emotional, too much I think. It is not good for the authority of the referee and the linesman and the fourth referee. I have apologised and they have accepted it.”
The Dutchman also reserved a word of praise for Marcus Rashford, claiming that the young striker was a very ‘special talent’.
Arsenal have been criticised for failing to take advantage of Manchester United as the race for the title heats up in England. A defeat at Old Trafford leaves Wenger 5 points behind leaders Leicester City. It is widely believed that this season is Wenger’s best chance to win the Premier League title, as rivals Manchester City continue to struggle because of their inconsistency. With both Chelsea and long time rivals Manchester United out of the picture, Arsenal’s inability to win the title this season could haunt the club for a long time to come.
In fact, Arsene Wenger’s comments perfectly sum up the Premier League title race this season as Leicester City continue their amazing run under Claudio Ranieri. It’s not the name that counts, but the performance.