Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has refused to blame a virus for Sunday's 1-0 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford.

The Gunners lost first-choice centre-back Per Mertesacker and midfielder Tomas Rosicky to illness, but Wenger refused to use this as an excuse after former Arsenal striker Robin van Persie secured all three points for the Red Devils.

"A virus can happen the whole season, it doesn't mean you have to lose the game," Wenger was quoted as saying by the London Evening Standard. "The players declared themselves fit. When they play, they play.

"There is no excuse."

Wenger believes that the main reason for Arsenal's defeat was a lack of cutting edge in the final third.

The Gunners fashioned several opportunities to score, but failed to seriously test United goalkeeper David de Gea.

"Until the end we looked like we can score but we lacked that quality in our final ball and the sharpness maybe to finish crosses," Wenger added.

The result means United climbed up to fifth place in the Premier League table and closed the gap on league-leaders Arsenal, who stay two points above Liverpool, to five points.

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