Wenger rues inconsistency

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger suffered a miserable afternoon as Bacary Sagna limped off during defeat to Aston Villa that could have implications for their Barclays Premier League title bid.

Sagna picked up an ankle injury during the build-up to Villa's opener in the 2-0 win and could be out for a "few weeks" after being carried off on a stretcher, according to Wenger.

Cesc Fabregas faces a suspension for the trip to Manchester City next week after receiving a yellow card in the move that led to Ashley Young missing a penalty in the first half. And after defeating Manchester United last week, Wenger feels Arsenal need consistency if they are to mount a title challenge, saying; "The performance was not good. Top-level performances are about consistency and at the moment we are not consistent enough."

Young won the 20th-minute penalty but had his spot-kick saved by Manuel Almunia, but he helped set up the opener in the second half.

Gabriel Agbonlahor looked to get on the end of Young's cross but Gael Clichy appeared to get the final touch as is flew past Almunia.

There was no doubt about the second goal, Agbonlahor holding off William Gallas and firing into the near post, although Wenger felt play should have been called back. "It was a blatant foul on Carlos Vela on the edge of the box," said the Frenchman.

Wenger also bemoaned the fact the international break gives him little chance to lift a demoralised dressing room.

"Everyone is very down, it is a massive disappointment," he said, "Now I don't see them before Thursday or Friday, so I don't have [chance] to pick them up."

Villa boss Martin O'Neill was impressed by his side's performance and said: "I thought we were exhilarating," he said. "We were fearless. We have ability in the team, mark my words, it's getting them to believe they can keep going."

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Gabriel Agbonlahor
Manchester City
Manuel Almunia
Manchester United
Ashley Young
Bacary Sagna
Gael Clichy
Aston Villa
William Gallas

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