Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has expressed his frustration after another 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace on Sunday (17 April) saw the Gunners missing a chance to move up to third spot in the Premier League table. The French boss, meanwhile, rues the lack of chances created by his attack team while admitting that the goal conceded later in the game by Peter Cech "was avoidable."
The Gunners dominated the first-half of the game and took a deserved lead just before half-time courtesy of another goal from Alexis Sanchez. However, they failed to kill the game in the second part and let Palace to secure a point at the Emirates Stadium with a late goal from Yannick Bolasie, who caught Petr Cech by surprise with a low drive at his near post.
Wenger had brought the former Chelsea keeper back into his line-up after David Ospina conceded three goals in the 3-3 draw at West Ham the previous week. The French boss admitted that the goal was "avoidable" but refused to blame the keeper as his side should have killed the game before.
"I don't believe that today was about leadership. It was about scoring the second goal and stopping a goal that we gave away as it was avoidable. That was the regret of the day," Wenger said. "We knew we couldn't get frustrated and make a defensive mistake. In the end, I must say they have the players that can take advantage of every counter attack. They are quick and powerful. When it was 1-0 they never came out really.
"I'm very disappointed. It is one of those days where you don't like to do a press conference after because it is not pleasant. I felt that we had possession 70% of the time and we lacked a bit of accuracy with our final ball, a change of pace or have enough men forward. In the end, we got caught by a unique shot on goal by Crystal Palace. They played deep and defended well. They got us on the break and that is the story of the game. It is very frustrating."
The manager, nevertheless, insisted that the main problem of his side was that despite their huge possession they didn't create enough chances to score.
"Usually we have a high number of goal chances, but I agree with you today that despite the high level of possession we had, we did not create enough chances. I think we lacked a bit of sharpness on the day and as well we had a bit of free confidence in our head after the result against West Ham where we felt we had absolutely to do a job today. In the end, we did not play with enough pace in the final third."