Beaten Gunners slammed by boss and booed by fans

LONDON • Arsene Wenger berated his Arsenal players for a lack of urgency and incisiveness after they conceded two "cheap goals" in suffering a first defeat since the opening weekend of the season in the League Cup quarter-finals against Southampton.

The Gunners left the pitch at the end of each half to a chorus of boos from the home supporters.

Wenger made 10 changes to the team that defeated Bournemouth on Sunday, as Southampton reached their first semi-final in this competition for 30 years.

Goals from Jordy Clasie and Ryan Bertrand secured a two-legged tie with Liverpool in the new year, and Claude Puel's team were dominant throughout.

"I'm disappointed," said Wenger, who hopes to have Olivier Giroud available for tomorrow's Premier League trip to West Ham.

"We had a disappointing performance, particularly in the first half. I think we were not good enough defensively and gave cheap goals away.

"It was better in the second, but it was one of those nights where you look like you could play two hours without scoring a goal. We didn't have enough urgency in the first half and were weak in some departments. We paid (the price) for not being incisive enough as well."

Asked about the supporters' reaction, Wenger added: "It's down to us to give them what they want. It is a fact. We have to live with that.

"I can only say 'well done' to Southampton. They were better than us tonight."

Southampton manager Puel warned against complacency.

"We moved the team at the start with different players and the answer from them was fantastic," Puel said.

"We will see for the future of the competition, but for now we have no time to be satisfied and happy because it's important... to make a good result in the Premier League and then we have a very important final game in the Europa League."

Southampton visit Crystal Palace in the league tomorrow before their Europa League match at home against Israeli side Hapoel Be'er Sheva next week.

The Saints will take on Liverpool on Jan 10 or 11 and Jan 24 or 25 to decide who will play Manchester United or Hull City in the final.

THE GUARDIAN, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 02, 2016, with the headline 'Beaten Gunners slammed by boss and booed by fans'. Print Edition | Subscribe