Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger left frustrated by Michael Oliver’s decision to disallow Aaron Ramsey’s early goal during the goalless draw against Liverpool on Monday (24 August).
The French boss admits Brendan Rodgers’ side dominated the first-half but believes that the goal of the midfielder earlier during match could have changed the whole game.
“Yes (It was not offside). I cannot say the opposite. It was a regular goal. It was a period of the game where we maybe had the most problems defensively but it’s a regular goal. I can’t see why it was cancelled. It’s clear and on that front. You cannot say that Liverpool can complain,” the manager said after the game.
“I didn’t ask (Oliver) for any explanation. What does it change? It’s about decision-making and he got it wrong. I could see live that he could not be offside. He started his run behind his man. I could see it from where I was but I thought maybe the angle on TV was different. It was not and I must say that Liverpool played well in the first half. We were insecure defensively and we gave them many balls. We created trouble for ourselves but even in the first half we had chances.”
Wenger was forced to deploy Calum Chambers and Gabriel Paulista in the hearth of his back-line after Per Mertesacker was ruled out with illness and Laurent Koscielny with a back injury.
The former Southampton defender made some mistakes in the first-half of the game but managed to overcome the situation in the second.
The manager admitted he was tempted to replaced the young defender at half-time but hails his response in the second half of the game to help his side secure a clean sheet.
“He (Chambers) responded well. It was important for him. You sit there and you wonder how far he can go without losing competitive confidence. In the second half he did well. He’s a good footballer and he will come out of that stronger, with the belief that when he had difficult moments he can come out of it stronger,” he said.
“You’re always tempted. I wondered whether I needed offensive players on the pitch. I knew that the most important thing for us was to get to half-time at 0-0. We knew the second half would be different.”
Meanwhile, Wenger admits the Gunners once again lacked clinical up front after his side failed to score in five of their last six Premier League home games, including the defeat against West Ham in the first game of the campaign.
“That will not last. It’s a fact, I agree but I believe that we know we can score goals and that will come back,” he said.
“The sharpness is missing a little bit in some players. I would like to give credit to Liverpool as well. They defended well, they were quick to close us down and we had problems getting out of position. With the domination we had in the second half, as long as you don’t score the first goal, the team doesn’t come out. We had the chances but we are still missing a little bit of a spontaneous attitude to finish what we start well.”
“We have started very averagely, I must concede, because we have four points after two home games. Maybe we won the most difficult game away from home. At home at the moment we haven’t scored.”