Arsenal latest: Wenger and Giroud explain United stalemate

All the latest news, views and transfer rumours from the Emirates Stadium...

Arsenal played out a drab 0-0 draw with Manchester United last night, in a game that failed to live up to its pre-match billing.

The result leaves the Gunners in second place, just one point behind leaders Chelsea at the top of Premier League table. Following last weekend's horror show against Liverpool in which Arsenal completely fell apart in a 5-1 defeat, and manager Arsene Wenger admitted that his were focused on not conceding in order to prevent a similar result.

“When you concede five goals like we did against Liverpool on Saturday, maybe that’s what you do. The team was highly focused on not conceding after Saturday," said Wenger.

“We missed out on the chance to go top but a point keeps us in the race. We played with the handbrake on tonight. I hope and think the handbrake will come off," the Arsenal boss added.

Striker Olivier Giroud had a tough evening, as the Frenchman missed a number of good opportunities to give Arsenal the lead, but the former Montpellier man concurred with Wenger in that the Gunners needed to show a good response following their Anfield nightmare, but also acknowledged that the players are getting tired. This was a real concern for many fans with Giroud being the leading striker and with little competition behind him, most fans thought this situation would arise at some point.

"I think we had a good reaction after the bad result against Liverpool," he said. "I think it's a good draw to be honest even if we could have scored at the end. It was maybe just about our confidence. We did well in the first half especially but after we looked a bit tired.

"It's OK, we had a good reaction on the pitch and I think that's the most important thing even if we wanted to win this game. I'm confident for the remaining games and we'll know a bit more about our future after Liverpool and Bayern [Munich] because we want to play in every competition."

Meanwhile, on the transfer front, Arsenal have once again been linked with a blockbuster £25m move for former Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli, with rumours suggesting that Wenger has already met with agent Mino Raiola to discuss a deal.

The AC Milan hitman is reportedly seeking a move away from Serie A after being the subject of racial abuse, and Arsenal's new deal with Puma could swing a deal, as they also sponsor Balotelli. The Italian international, who is set to face England in the World Cup, would certainly boost the Arsenal attack and also take some of the pressure off Giroud. 

image: © joncandy

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