Wenger slams Arsenal’s finishing as untimely goal drought increases title pressure

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LONDON — Despite creating a glut of chances and coming up against Fraser Forster in sensational form, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was not a happy man.

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Wenger, 66, hit out at his forwards as they missed several glorious opportunities during the 0-0 draw with Southampton on Tuesday.

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With the draw the Gunners are now without a win in four Premier League games and have failed to score a goal in their last three outings. That run has seen them drop to fourth place in the table as some of Arsenal’s fans booed and jeered their team off the pitch at half time and after the final whistle.

Wayward finishing from the likes of Olivier Giroud, Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil has Wenger worried.

“We produced quite a good performance, especially in the second half, and created 10 goal chances but at the end of the day we come out with no goal. I believe that the performance we wanted to produce was there but we can, of course, not be happy with the way we finished our chances,” Wenger said. “That is the most disappointing. Some players missed some chances that usually they take. Our finishing is very bad at the moment. We have now played three games without scoring a goal and in all three games we had chances that we don’t take and at this level it is important.”

Forster denied Arsenal on 10 occasions with some superb saves, as Southampton towering 6-foot 7-inch goalkeeper made a stunning reflex stop from Ozil in the first half, twice denied Theo Walcott in the second and also denied Giroud and Sanchez in his sensational display. That said, Wenger still believes his team created too many quality chances to not win the game.

“You rate the quality of the chances you create and the quality of the finishing. The quality of the chances we created today was high, The quality of the finishing was poor. That differential explains the 0-0,” Wenger said. “It is maximum frustrating because when your team puts the energy in and creates the chances. When you have no chances and you come out of a game you say ‘okay, there was not more in it.’ But when you come and you think there was much more in the game, like that, when you have our ambition, it is of course frustrating.”

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Despite the draw Arsenal remain just five points off the top and Wenger believes all his team can do is keep winning games to put pressure on the teams above them.

He also brushed off talk of his team being under pressure and called for a “less pessimistic” outlook as Arsenal is still in the PL title hunt and have a UEFA Champions League last 16 clash against Barcelona coming up at the end of the month.

That said, the Gunners have slipped behind the pack in recent weeks and Wenger knows they must regain their scoring touch to get back on top of the Premier League.

“Leicester won again and now I am sure that everybody will take them very seriously, especially in the media, so they will be under pressure as well,” Wenger said. “We are not going to look too much at Leicester or Manchester City. We have to win football games and focus and respond quickly and win our next game. That’s all we can do. It is a dream to think we will catch the others if we do not win our games… and in the last three games we have taken two points.”