Arsene Wenger didn’t like what he saw from the stands at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday.
Arsenal lost 2-1 to Watford in the pouring rain as their title hopes hang in the balance following a slack defense display in the first half and plenty of missed opportunities in the second half.
Wenger was serving the second game of his four-match touchline ban after pushing an official so had to watch on in agony from the stands as his side gave up two early goals against the struggling Hornets.
Speaking to the media after the game, Wenger was unhappy with the manner of the performance as well as the loss.
“It was obvious we lost duels and were not sharp enough. It looked more mentally that we were not ready for the challenges,” Wenger said. “We were unlucky for the first goal which was deflected after a soft free-kick. It took us a while to get into the game, it was all us in the second half and unlucky not to get something from the game. You look at the facts and we were beaten in the duels. When you play at home in our position, that is not normal. Everybody in the Premier League is strong physically and 90% is not enough.”
The shock defeat now leaves Arsenal nine points behind Chelsea ahead of their clash at Stamford Bridge on Saturday and nothing but a win will do for the Gunners if they’re seriously going to overhaul their London neighbors.
Are Arsenal’s title hopes over?
“Where does it leave the league? We lost today and we want to respond in the next game,” Wenger said. “You can only have a chance if you win your games. I knew exactly what we were preparing for but we have to learn from tonight.”
Many Arsenal fans will be saying they’ve seen this story way too many times before…