Wenger admits missed chances cost Arsenal win

Julian Harris
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ARSENAL manager Arsene Wenger admitted his frustration over a series of missed chances against champions Manchester City yesterday, despite seeing his side grab a respectable draw at the Etihad Stadium.

The Gunners went behind to a soft Joleon Lescott header from a City corner shortly before half-time, yet saved a point when they scored from a corner of their own in the 82nd minute through France defender Laurent Koscielny.

“We are happy because we didn’t lose the game but also a bit frustrated as well because we had early chances and late chances especially with Gervinho where we could have won the game,” Wenger said, after the Ivorian failed to convert a series of chances throughout the game.

“But overall what happened today must strengthen the belief of our team,” he added. “I am pleased also with the quality of our performance and our spirit. Also a bit frustrated because I feel there was room to do more.”

The Frenchman’s side enjoyed the majority of possession and consistently caused problems for City’s defence. A quarter of an hour in Gervinho was set free by an excellent slide-rule pass from Aaron Ramsey, yet a heavy touch saw the chance go to waste.

Arsenal continue to press yet found themselves behind five minutes before the break. A David Silva corner was directed to the far post where Lescott rose above the flailing arm of Arsenal goalkeeper Vito Mannone to nod his side into the lead.

City again allowed the visitors much of the ball in the second-half, but had chances of their own

With 10 minutes to go, summer signing Santi Cazorla fizzed a stinging right foot drive that Joe Hart could only just tip narrowly past the woodwork. Yet Hart’s efforts were in vain, as the resulting corner spilled for the advanced Koscielny, who stabbed in from 10 yards.

The north Londoners – undefeated so far this season – then had chances to win the game, the best falling to Gervinho at the edge of the area. Yet the erratic forward blasted high and wide, leaving the sides to settle for a point each.

City manager Roberto Mancini rued his team’s inability to hold onto the lead.

“I think we need to improve our defending at set-pieces because this has been a problem for us this season,” Mancini said.

“We can do better and we need to work on this area. We are finding it hard not to concede at the moment.”