Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger’s final trip to Old Trafford may have ultimately ended in a 2-1 defeat yesterday, but the Gunners coach was full of praise for the performance of his youthful side.
With the Europa League semi-final second leg against Atletico Madrid coming up on Thursday, the 68-year-old chose to rest many of his first-team players.
Despite going behind to a early Paul Pogba goal, the inexperienced Arsenal side played some good stuff and deservedly equalised just after half-time when former United attacker Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored from the edge of the box.
However, the Gunners were unable to hold on for a point with Marouane Fellaini coming off the bench to score a looping last minute header and secure all three points for Jose Mourinho’s men.
“It was a good performance. It reflects a little our away season. We had chances and on the counter we did not use our opportunites as well as we could have.” Wenger told Sky Sports.
“It was very positive for the young team, but it is very disappointing in the dressing room and I think in the last 20 minutes you can see that some of the players are not used to that pace and intensity.
“It is good to see them in this atmosphere – who can win challenges. You can know their level, but you see what they can produce. It was hard to name a bad performance in our side.”
“It was unfortunate because we had a positive performance but we paid for the fatigue in the final 20 minutes from players who are not used to it. They did very well for the most part. It is unfortunate that they could not get the reward for that.”
Before the game Wenger was presented with a gift by his one time arch nemesis to mark the end of his 22 year tenure as Arsenal boss, and the Frenchman revealed his gratitude for this ”classy” touch by United.
“It was very nice and classy. I enjoyed it. I have come here for a long long time. Next year, someone else will be in the dug-out and it will be a hostile environment again.”
TO CHECK OUT 10 OF WENGER’S BEST QUOTES CLICK HERE !