Arsene Wenger praised the Arsenal supporters despite protesting for his ouster, as they played out a 2-2 draw with Manchester City on Sunday.
Arsenal produced a determined performance at the Emirates on Sunday, as they held Manchester City to a 2-2 draw, clawing their way back from a goal down twice to claim a hard-fought and well deserved stalemate with Pep Guardiola’s side.
The Gunners went off to the worst possible start as Leroy Sane put the visitors in front just five minutes into the match. Arsenal then piled on the pressure in search of an equaliser and a positive spell of play was rewarded with their first goal as Theo Walcott pulled things level in the 40th minute.
The joy was short lived though, as Sergio Aguero re-established City’s lead after just two minutes with a fine finish past David Ospina. However, after losing Laurent Koscielny to an achilles injury, it was his central defensive partner who levelled things up yet again, in a set piece situation to restore parity for Arsenal.
Thus, Arsenal managed to overturn a recent slump in form – they had lost four of their last five Premier League matches – to some extent with a result that will be seen as a positive. And in the aftermath of the match, Arsene Wenger had special words of praise for the club’s supporters.
The Arsenal boss hailed the supporters to be “absolutely sensational”, despite further protests calling for him to call it a day at the Emirates at the end of the season. “I must say, despite all what happens on the fans front, I felt out fans were fantastic today,” he said.
He continued: “In very difficult moments in the game I felt that our fans – at 1-0 down, at 2-1 down – could have turned against us. I think they were absolutely sensational and helped the team to get through those difficult moments.”
When quizzed about the protests calling for his ouster outside the Emirates, Wenger chose to put his focus on the fans’ behaviour inside the stadium, as he added: “I’m not aware of what happened outside. I think what is important in football is what happens inside the pitch and inside the stadium. I feel the fans were absolutely outstanding today.”
Arsene Wenger has been under tremendous pressure recently of late, after Arsenal suffered a shocking slump in form, losing four out of their last five games in the Premier League, in addition to the 10-2 aggregate capitulation at the hands of Bayern Munich.
The result on Sunday did go some way in pulling the fans back to rallying behind the team, but it remains to be seen if they end protests to see the removal of their long-serving manager at the end of the season.
The Gunners are back in Premier League action on Wednesday, as they host West Ham United in a bid to build a positive run of form to end the season on a high.