Football: United defeat left its mark, admits Wenger

Wenger (above) said his players felt hard done by in not even garnering a point against United.
Wenger (above) said his players felt hard done by in not even garnering a point against United.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (AFP) - Arsene Wenger admitted on Friday (Dec 15) that his Arsenal team's 3-1 defeat by Manchester United a fortnight ago has left his side psychologically scarred in their matches since.

Draws against struggling Southampton and West Ham United have seen Arsenal slip to seventh in the table, a massive 19 points behind leaders Manchester City but only a point outside the Champions League spots.

Wenger - who is likely to recall record signing Alexandre Lacazette to the starting line-up against out-of-form Newcastle United on Saturday - said his players had felt hard done by in not even garnering a point against United.

The Gunners peppered the United goal but found Spanish goalkeeper David de Gea in outstanding form.

"It still plays on their minds," said Wenger about the United loss.

"You need to get that out of the system. When you have so many chances as we had and you come out with nothing, it's difficult to swallow and it takes a little while.

"I think the best way is to continue to put that behind us and focus on the quality of our game."

Wenger, who revealed Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey will be out of action for three weeks with a hamstring injury and England international Theo Walcott has a groin problem, admitted his side needed to turn their dominance of recent games into goals.

Arsenal have created more chances than any other team in the Premier League this season but have only managed to convert 13 per cent of them, while both United and leaders Manchester City boast a 23 per cent conversion rate.

"At the moment there is a difference between points we get and the domination we have in the game," said Wenger.

"Of course it is down to the fact that we've played recently against two teams who defended extremely well at home.

"Maybe we have to speed up our passing and have more penetrating runs in the final third to create more chances.

"Maybe we need support for our central strikers in the box as well."