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Page last updated at 08:43 GMT, Monday, 19 April 2010 09:43 UK

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger rues indiscipline at Wigan

Arsenal players react after conceding at Wigan
Wenger accused his players of lacking discipline in the defeat at the DW Stadium

Boss Arsene Wenger blamed his players' lack of discipline after Arsenal let in three late goals to lose 3-2 to Wigan and all but end their title hopes.

"It's difficult to understand what happened in those final minutes. We lost focus, discipline, and we were caught. It was not like us," he said.

"It is the most disappointing defeat of the season, but we have to swallow it."

Arsenal are six points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea with only three games remaining for each team.

With 10 minutes to go and a 2-0 lead, the Gunners had looked poised to close the gap on the Blues to three points after Carlo Ancelotti's men lost 2-1 to Tottenham on Saturday.


Goals from Theo Walcott and Mikael Silvestre either side of half-time put Arsenal ahead but strikes from Ben Watson, Titus Bramble and Charles N'Zogbia meant the Latics swept to an unlikely win amid wild celebrations at the DW Stadium.

"Even at 2-0 I never thought the game was over," added Wenger.

"I could see we were having difficulties keeping the ball, creating other chances, and when you do not create chances in football you are in trouble.

"Maybe the players felt too comfortable, but in football you have to remain focused for 90 minutes, and we were punished.

"That is especially the case against a team with nothing to lose, fighting not to go down. You knew they would not give up and in the end we were punished for that.

"But it is difficult to swallow a defeat like that because at the end of the day we have conceded three goals to a team that has struggled to score."

Most disappointing defeat of season - Wenger

The result leaves the Frenchman looking over his shoulder as he attempts to cement a third-place finish that has come under pressure from Tottenham.

Spurs are seven points behind their north London rivals, while Manchester City are nine points adrift, but both sides have a game in hand on the Gunners.

The top three Premier League teams qualify automatically for the Champions League group stage, while the fourth-placed team will face a two-legged play-off.

"My target is to win the next game," stated Arsenal manager Wenger.

"Manchester City and Spurs can still catch us, so we have to win at least one of our remaining games."

Wigan's victory means Roberto Martinez's side are virtually safe from relegation as they are now seven points clear of 18th-placed Hull.

The victory was Wigan's first top-flight win over Arsenal - after having lost eight of the previous nine matches between the sides - and follows the home successes they have already secured over Chelsea and Liverpool this season.

"We finally got the rewards our performance deserved," stated Martinez.

'Vital' win delights Martinez

"We started the game well, played face to face with Arsenal but then we began to lose the ball cheaply and the game was going away from us.

"Not many teams come back from 2-0 down against Arsenal and the reason is the effort and belief the players showed.

"Moments like this are vital for our club and they are the reason why we are involved in football and what our fans deserved.

"To beat Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal in one season is something that doesn't come by accident and I'm extremely proud of the players."

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see also
Wigan 3-2 Arsenal
18 Apr 10 |  Premier League
Sunday football as it happened
18 Apr 10 |  Football
Sunday's football photos
18 Apr 10 |  Football

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