Wenger on Flamini tackle: It could have been foul to us

Date published: Monday 8th February 2016 9:48 - Mark Holmes

Arsene Wenger: Contract expires in June 2017

Arsene Wenger says it would have been “harsh” to send off Mathieu Flamini for his tackle on Dan Gosling and reckons it could even have been a foul to Arsenal.

Flamini was shown a yellow card for a two-footed lunge, with Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe arguing afterwards the midfielder should have been sent off.

Wenger, however, believes it was just as much of a foul on Flamini as it was Gosling.

“I’m fairly sure at the start it was a free-kick to us because Flamini was there first and I didn’t see how high he was,” Wenger said. “He was first on the ball, I don’t even think he needed to tackle.

“It was maybe [a foul by] both. Maybe it was a foul from Flamini because he had high feet, I have to look at it again.

“I still feel that he was first on the ball and went for the ball and didn’t go for the player. It would have been harsh.”

Arsenal were not at their best in Sunday’s 2-0 win at Dean Court, but the most important thing for Wenger was three points following Leicester City’s win at Manchester City the previous day.

“We had a strong start and we were 2-0 in front with a good convincing performance,” Wenger said. “After that we were weak in some periods and we suffered a bit more. It was important for us to not concede a goal.

“In the end the second half was about keeping the result than continuing our flow in the game. It was an important three points for us.

“We needed to win the game. I don’t want to be too dramatic making statements. A game away from home in the Premier League is difficult to win for everybody. We needed to win and we won.

“In the last three away games we played against Liverpool who equalised in the last minute and we played at Stoke which was 0-0. We came here today and won so I believe that we have shown good performances.

“We played with 10 men against Chelsea. We created many chances against Southampton.”

Arsenal had taken only three points from four games before Sunday, but Wenger is paying little attention to talk from outside of the club that the Gunners are suffering the sort of collapse that has prevented them from lasting the pace in the title race previously.

“We hadn’t won in a while, we had gone four games without a win and when you play at the top it is a long period so your confidence drops a bit,” Wenger said.

“Leicester were running away and us playing them next week makes the game very interesting.

“We have been in the title race and we are still in it. We cannot control people’s opinion and we need to show that we believe in it. We have to do it. It is still a long way to go.

“Leicester City is a favourite and we have a big game at home against them and I hope we have enough quality and nerves to deal with that.”

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