Sunday 11 November 2012
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger accepted his side had only themselves to blame after throwing away a two-goal lead for the second time in a week as Fulham battled back to earn a 3-3 draw at the Emirates Stadium.
"It was frustrating because we had the opportunities to win"
Though early goals from Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski put the Gunners in control, Fulham rallied before half-time through Dimitar Berbatov and Alex Kacaniklic's strikes. Indeed Giroud had to cancel out a Berbatov penalty before the Gunners, in added time, were denied a winner by Mark Schwarzer's penalty save from Mikel Arteta.
"It was frustrating because we had the opportunities to win,” said Wenger. “We were caught in a bit too comfortable of a position because we did the most difficult thing – we scored two goals to go 2-0 up. At that moment we lacked urgency defensively.
"In the second half we gave absolutely everything and I have to give credit to the players, in the last three games what they have done physically is amazing.
"Even at 3-2 down we didn't give up and continued to go forward and we had the chances to win the game."
Fulham manager Martin Jol reflected on "so many mixed feelings" about the final result of a dramatic encounter.
"We played some fantastic stuff," he said. "Before the game we said we would try to dominate them, which is hard here, but we managed that."
"I can't remember being 2-0 down - especially here - then being 3-2 ahead and we could have scored two or three goals after that.
"I really thought this could be the first time ever to beat them away, but in the end it was not to be.
"However, if you concede a penalty in the last 20 seconds and then still do not lose, maybe we should be pleased in hindsight."
Everton manager David Moyes admitted he did not think he would mark his 400th Barclays Premier League match with a victory but was not surprised by side's late turnaround.
"In the end I think we got what we deserved because we kept at it"
Trailing to Sunderland winger Adam Johnson's first goal for the club on the stroke of half-time the Toffees struck twice in quick succession through Marouane Fellaini and Nikica Jelavic to clinch three points with 11 minutes to go.
"I thought it was going to be one of those days,” said Moyes after Everton's first win in five matches. “It didn't look as if it was coming. I thought it looked like a 1-0 to Sunderland – but that was not for us not trying to keep knocking at the door.
"In the end I think we got what we deserved because we kept at it. I thought we played quite well in the first half but found ourselves a goal down and a bit fortunate not to be two down.
"If that had been the case you would have to have said that was unjust. We didn't deserve that with our possession, we just hadn't created any clear-cut chances from our good play.
"We needed something because Sunderland had the third-best defensive record in the Premier League and they had showed that resilience and made it hard for us to score.
"I thought we kept going and the players showed great character to come from a goal behind. Maybe the amount of pressure we had told a little bit."
Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill, who thought his side would end their 11-year win-less run against Everton, was frustrated with the result.
"We should have been out of sight at half-time. Instead of being one up we should have been three up," he said
"Having said that, the players played brilliantly away from home against a side who have a great chance of being in the Champions League.
"It was a great performance by the players. To be fair I thought we were exhilarating in the first half.
"We knew we would be under pressure in the second half but I always thought on the break we looked dangerous.
"The second goal epitomised a bit of luck and a bit of misfortune. We are obviously very disappointed."
West Bromwich Albion head coach Steve Clarke hailed his side's "long overdue" first away win of the Barclays Premier League season at Wigan but warned his team must continue to guard against complacency.
"The top division in England can come back quickly to bite you if you take your focus off it"
James Morrison and an own goal from Gary Caldwell kept West Brom in fifth place before Arouna Kone reduced the deficit.
"I remember once as a player I was top of the league in November and ended up fighting relegation,” Clarke said. “The top division in England can come back quickly to bite you if you take your focus off it.
"Our away performances have been as good as our home performances so this is long overdue. Even though our away performances have been good, we have had a habit of losing late goals and dropping points and you start to think about that, so it was nice to hang on and get the 2-1 win."
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez offered no excuses for his side's display.
"I don't think we are the sort of side that can get a result out of a scrappy performance,” he said. “I don't think we were as good as we could have been today, and that is really the frustration.
"We know West Brom are a very strong unit and play with real confidence and are a difficult unit to break down, so to concede two goals early on was really disappointing.
"We started well enough but even though we presented the right attitude and attacking threat, I don't think we were as good as we can be. Our movement wasn't as sharp and our attacking threat wasn't good enough.”
Queens Park Rangers manager Mark Hughes lamented his side's profligacy after their wait for a Barclays Premier League win this season was extended to 11 games with a 1-0 defeat by Stoke City.
"The key at the moment is that we have to take chances when they present themselves"
The west London side had many chances to score but were undone by Charlie Adam's 52nd-minute strike.
"We've had this conversation too many times after games unfortunately," Hughes said. "We played well as the away side - it was a decent away performance.
"We restricted Stoke to very few chances. In general play we were the dominant team in terms of how we wanted to get the ball down and play. But the key at the moment is that we have to take chances when they present themselves.
"Stoke will always put the ball into the box and you have to deal with things dropping around you. Unfortunately we made a mistake, one of the few we made today at the back - defensively we were very good today, better than we have been in recent weeks.
"At the moment, every mistake we make is getting punished."
Stoke manager Tony Pulis expressed sympathy for Hughes, although he emphasised the importance of grinding out results.
"We have played games this year that we should never have lost," said Pulis, whose team registered what was only their second win of the campaign and are up to 12th. "He [Hughes] will be disappointed, with the chances they have created today, that they haven't scored some goals. But you need to eke out results."
Nigel Adkins focused on Southampton's improved performance despite a defensive mistake costing his side three points against Swansea.
"We're together as one. Everyone is having a right go, the performance was good"
Southampton took the lead 64 minutes in when Morgan Schneiderlin made their dominance count by nodding home from close range. However, goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga's poor pass to Maya Yoshida was picked off by former Southampton academy graduate Nathan Dyer, who punished the hosts.
"The supporters, players and everyone is having a go for each other, which is the important thing," Adkins said. "We're together as one. Everyone is having a right go, the performance was good.
"Listen, take the positives. We got a point. We wanted the three and a clean sheet but let's take the positives. We got another point on the board. Everyone's together, everyone is working hard.
"We're 11 games into the Barclays Premier League and we're improving all the time. We believe we can give all sorts of teams problems going forward, which we've gone and done this season. We've scored goals.
"It is the decision-making process at the back [which is the issue]. Today was an improvement in respect of the defensive resolve about ourselves.
"There is a lot of good things that we're doing and we'll stick at it and keep working hard."
Swansea manager Michael Laudrup was relieved to get a draw.
"I am pleased with a point," the Dane said. “We knew already before the game that it would be very difficult.
" I said in the press conference on Thursday that we would like to win against Southampton, but they need a win. You could really see that. They gave everything in every moment so it was a really difficult game. We can be satisfied with going away from here with a point.
"If I have to be positive, there are two things. One is obviously the point and the other is, like last Saturday [against Chelsea], we came back from 1-0 down. That once again shows character in what was a very difficult away game."
Managers Brian McDermott and Chris Hughton praised the defending on show after the goalless draw between Reading and Norwich at the Madejski Stadium.
"I was pleased that we kept our clean sheet, that is the first time we have done it in the league"
Reading are still without a win in the Barclays Premier League this season and remain in the bottom three, while the Canaries extended their unbeaten run to four games.
"I'm not disappointed,” said McDermott. “We have had a few disappointments this season, when we were winning at Arsenal and 2-0 up at Swansea.
"But I can't be disappointed with the group of guys that have given us absolutely everything. In that dressing room they are disappointed themselves but there is no need to be.
"Everyone is talking about the win, we have just got to concentrate on the game and that is all we can do."
"I was pleased that we kept our clean sheet, that is the first time we have done it in the league and that is six draws from 10 games. That tells you how close we are and generally we have been scoring a lot of goals so it is good to keep a clean sheet but unusual for us not to score.
"Every single one of our players has had a real go as they usually do - you can't fault them for effort. Generally we have been scoring goals so when you play at home and you draw you want to win."
Norwich boss Hughton echoed McDermott's sentiments in regards to seeing his side keep out the opposition.
"Another clean sheet is the plus I suppose," Hughton said. "Any draw and any clean sheet away from home is always a good point. They (Reading) are a team who, among their difficulties this season, have been able to score goals. For us to come here and get a clean sheet I think in the end was a good result and a fair result.
"We are certainly more solid at the moment, I suppose something gives a little bit and being as solid as we have been we haven't got the goals we would have liked.
"But unless you're in that top group of teams it is hard to have both. Today is a good point."
Arsenal 3-3 Fulham | #ARSFUL | Matchday Live >>
Everton 2-1 Sunderland | #EVESUN | Matchday Live >>
Reading 0-0 Norwich City | #RDGNOR | Matchday Live >>
Southampton 1-1 Swansea | #SOUSWA | Matchday Live >>
Stoke City 1-0 QPR | #STKQPR | Matchday Live >>
Wigan Athletic 1-2 West Brom | #WIGWBA | Matchday live >>