Soccer-Wenger defends Lloris despite France keeper conceding five

LONDON Sat Nov 17, 2012 6:14pm GMT

LONDON Nov 17 (Reuters) - Arsenal's French manager Arsene Wenger defended his compatriot Hugo Lloris despite Tottenham Hotspur's France goalkeeper conceding five goals as Arsenal thumped Spurs 5-2 on Saturday.

Lloris, who signed for Spurs at the end of the August transfer window, had only played in one Premier League match before Saturday with coach Andre Villas-Boas keeping 41-year-old American Brad Friedel as his first choice for league games.

Although Lloris has been signed with the future in mind, he has expressed his difficulty in adjusting to not being the automatic number one.

He got his chance on Saturday, but in reality, had little chance in saving any of Arsenal's five goals and Wenger defended the former Lyon keeper.

"I think he played well and he saved a few. He came out in a very accurate and decisive way and was very quick and strong and you cannot fault him on any goal," he told reporters.

"He was a bit unlucky, especially on the goal that (Lukas) Podolski scored (the ball taking a deflection off Frenchman William Gallas).

"But no-one could have stopped that. I don't think he was guilty on any goal."

When asked why he picked Lloris over Friedel, Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas explained: "They have both done fantastically in training and both worked well. We have this wonderful situation where we have two great goalkeepers and today it was Lloris." (Editing by Mark Meadows; mark.meadows@thomsonreuters.com; +44 20 7542 7933; Reuters Messaging:; mark.meadows.reuters.com@reuters.net)