Wenger - They were defensive
Arsene Wenger admits his side endured a 'frustrating' afternoon against a 'defensive' Sunderland outfit.
By James Dall
Last Updated: 04/10/08 6:51pm
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger admits his side endured a 'frustrating' afternoon on Wearside against a 'defensive' Sunderland outfit.
The Gunners toiled at the Stadium of Light as Black Cats boss Roy Keane deployed a five-man midfield that restricted their opponents' creativity.
Sunderland took a surprise lead on 86 minutes as substitute Grant Leadbitter hit a terrific long-range strike past goalkeeper Manuel Almunia.
But Arsenal netted a late leveller as Cesc Fabregas headed home Robin van Persie's corner deep into injury-time.
Wenger told Sky Sports: "It is frustrating because Sunderland never came out. They were happy with 0-0 from the start and they just didn't try to play.
"In fairness, they defended very well. They just focused on defending. On top of that, we had a goal disallowed.
"Overall, we had a good attitude and good response. But we were frustrated because it was not an open game.
"I expected them to play more attacking. Today they were very, very defensive. We lacked a little bit of sharpness, but our attitude was very good."
The Gunners had a goal disallowed just before the hour mark when the linesman deemed the ball had gone out of play before Theo Walcott cut back for Van Persie.
Of the incident, Wenger said: "I didn't see whether the ball went out. I cannot change anything. In the last two league games everything has gone against us."
The Frenchman reserved praise for Fabregas, adding: "It tells you a lot about the team and Cesc as well. He refuses to lose. Heading is not his strength, but he scored a great header."