Wenger: I felt something new was needed

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger
  • Post published:April 18, 2017

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says he felt that his side need ‘something’ new after starting with a back three against Middlesbrough for the first time in 20 years.

The Gunners secured their 17th win in the Premier League this season after they beat Middlesbrough 2-1 at the Riverside Stadium, and are now six points adrift fourth-placed Manchester City after beating Boro.

A superb free-kick by Alexis Sanchez and a goal by Mesut Ozil cancelled out Boro striker Alvaro Negredo’s 50th-minute goal to collect the much-needed points.

The 67-year-old revealed that his deploment of a three-man defence came as a result of a precautionary measure against them garnering their fourth consecutive defeat away from home in the Premier League.

‘The first time in 20 years, that shows you that even in my age you can change. But sometimes when a team lacks confidence, just to add something new to believe helps to focus and overall the fact that we conceded three at West Brom, three at Crystal Palace, I felt it was needed,’ Wenger told the Arsenal website.

‘It worked well in the first half, we didn’t give any chances away and we were quite solid on set-pieces. In the second half on one or two occasions, I felt we could have been a bit more dominant in the air, but overall yes.’

Wenger went on to say that his side have turned their attention to their crucial FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City on Sunday.

‘Let’s focus on that. You have a little break from the Premier League now and after the end of the season will come very quickly. Sunday, let’s prepare well for the game,’ he added.

‘We played City two weeks ago, we play them again on Sunday so it will be completely different because we are at Wembley and it will be interesting.’

Arsenal take on Pep Guardiola’s side in the FA Cup semi-finals on Sunday.

The match at Wembley Stadium kicks off at 16:00.