BBC Home
Explore the BBC
| Help

Last Updated: Sunday, 27 April, 2003, 06:19 GMT 07:19 UK
Wenger concedes ground
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger
Wenger saw his side slip up at the Reebok
Arsene Wenger conceded the race for the Premiership title was out of their hands after they were held to a 2-2 draw at Bolton.

The Gunners threw away a two-goal lead as Bolton fought back after strikes by Sylvain Wiltord and Robert Pires had put the champions in front.

A goal from Youri Djorkaeff and a Martin Keown own goal earned Bolton a point and left Arsenal two behind Manchester United.

"It is not in our hands and we need some good results," he said. "It is still open but it is not in our hands.

"I am disappointed to be 2-0 up and then finish as we did. With 15 minutes to go we looked safe and should have been secure.

"I don't know what went wrong. We scored two but did not find the fluency we have had.

"I don't think the pressure is telling. It was a lack of concentration on the first and second goals. We should not have conceded those goals.

"Bolton didn't look that dangerous but scored two goals from set pieces.

"That is difficult to accept at this level."

Arsenal could go into the final three games of the season without Pascal Cygan, Freddie Ljungberg and Lauren, who all suffered injuries.

The Arsenal boss was incensed with the challenges which led to Cygan and Ljungberg limping off.

"They were two bad tackles and I would love to say more but I think I'll let you judge by yourself," he added.

It was a never-say-die effort on our part. We got back to 2-2 and looked like winners in the end
Sam Allardyce

Bolton boss Sam Allardyce was unhappy with referee Andy D'Urso for sending off Florent Laville.

"He gave away two free-kicks and got two yellow cards," said Allardyce. "Ray Parlour gave away four free-kicks and got one. It was a disgrace.

"There was no need for a yellow in the game. We were down to 10 men and then they add on six minutes. I am infuriated by that. The ref tried to take it away from us.

"We don't see six minutes injury time when we play away from home, we're lucky to see four.

"It was an excellent game. It looked like D'Urso was going to get through the game well until Florent Laville. Two challenges and two yellows - a disgrace.

"You can see the replay and the ferocity of the fouls. There was nothing in the free-kicks."

But Allardyce was full of praise for his side for battling back.

"It was a never-say-die effort on our part and we put their back four under pressure," he said.

"We got back to 2-2 and looked like winners in the end.

"Now it depends on West Ham at Manchester City. We can sit back and take the credit for what we've done."



ALSO IN THIS SECTION Man City fall to defeat at Everton
Tuesday football -as it happened
Man Utd 2-0 Stoke
Swansea 1-1 Chelsea

E-mail services | Sport on mobiles/PDAs | Headlines for your site


Back to top

Sport Homepage | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League | Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Snooker | Horse Racing | Cycling | Disability sport | Olympics 2012 | Sport Relief | Other sport...

BBC Sport Academy >> | BBC News >> | BBC Weather >>
About the BBC | News sources | Privacy & Cookies Policy | Contact us
banner watch listen bbc sport