Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has sympathized with Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, insisting that the French goalkeeper performed too well to see five goals fly past him during the Gunners’ 5-2 derby win over the Spurs yesterday.
A match that started out in lively fashion for Tottenham through an early Emmanuel Adebayor goal turned against them rather emphatically following the Togolese striker’s dismissal minutes after he had opener the scoring.
Wenger’s men then turned on the style against their 10-men opponents, equalizing through a thumping Per Mertesacker header before goals from Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud, and Santi Cazorla put the match out of the visitors’ reach at the Emirates Stadium.
While Gareth Bale pulled one back for the Spurs, Theo Walcott converted another late goal past a helpless Lloris, who had to be consoled at the full-time whistle by Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas.
As far as Wenger is concerned, all the sympathy was deserved on this day for his compatriot Lloris, who did little wrong and yet stood in the goal for an absolute nightmare in his North London derby debut.
“I think he played well. Honestly, he saved a few. He always came out in a decisive and accurate way, and was very quick and strong,” Wenger told Arsenal’s official website following the match.
The manager added: “You cannot fault him on any goal. He was a bit unlucky, especially on the Podolski goal. Who would have stopped that? I don’t see him guilty on any goal.”
Wenger was also open in his critique of former Arsenal striker Adebayor’s reckless challenge on Cazorla, making it clear that the red card was completely warranted.
Nevertheless, he also explained that the Gunners had to fight for all three points even after being a man up for the majority of the match
“What I made of it was: it was not rose, it was not yellow, it was a red. I didn’t think at all when he was sent off that the game was won,” Wenger carefully explained.
“We came back into the game and got what we wanted, which was to win the game. It is not always easy against 10 – we have won games with 10 men. I thought it could become even more difficult because they could have dropped back and waited for us, but we had the quality and movement to play through their lines and create chances,” Arsene concluded.