Football

Wenger bemused by 'flat' Arsenal

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Arsene Wenger was at a loss to explain Arsenal's "flat" performance in Saturday afternoon's frustrating goalless draw against 10-man Blackburn at Emirates Stadium - but refused to give up the Barclays Premier League title chase.

The Gunners - who now trail leaders Manchester United by seven points with match in hand - had plenty of possession, but were unable to really test Paul Robinson. Rovers - who had lost five of the last eight matches - grew in confidence and survived the sending off of midfielder Steven Nzonzi to earn a useful point in their battle against relegation.

"It was a frustrating performance because we had no pace in our game. Overall it was a flat performance with a lack of energy level, a lack of sharpness. It was quite a big concern to see what we have seen," Wenger said.

"It is difficult to identify one special thing.

"I felt we started okay and after our game became flat. Very few players looked to have the resources to put the pace up in the game. Part of it is down to the fact that Blackburn defended well but I don't put the majority of reasons down to that. I feel it is more down to our poor offensive performance."

Despite the blow of seeing three other chances of silverware fall by the wayside in the past month, Wenger is not about to give up on overhauling United just yet. However, the Gunners boss accepts his team must rediscover that winning feeling.

"We have to focus on our performance, not on Manchester United. Before we speak about the title I believe we have to come back to a good level of performance."

The point moved Blackburn moved up to 14th and boss Steve Kean believes his team are showing progress.

"We set out a plan to make sure their midfield three did not get as much time on the ball as they like and we did that well in the first half," he said.

"When we lost a man we thought 'here we go', but we showed good togetherness and the lads were tremendous with a fantastic appetite to get something. It is a very important point and keeps our momentum going."

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Topics:
Arsenal
Sunderland
Steven Nzonzi
Football
Blackburn Rovers
Paul Robinson
Premier League
Manchester United
Paul Robinson
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