(Reuters) - Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger praised his side’s resilience but was left to rue their failure to turn a 3-0 deficit into a victory at Bournemouth on Tuesday.
As it was Arsenal left the south coast with a 3-3 draw after Alexis Sanchez, Lucas Perez and Olivier Giroud all scored late goals to wipe out what had been a woeful first hour in which the tenacious hosts scored three times.
Bournemouth played the last eight minutes of normal time and six minutes of stoppage time with 10 men after Simon Francis was red-carded and when Giroud scored in the 92nd minute Arsenal looked likely to snatch all three points.
“It was a physical test and a mental test for us. A physical test because we had problems to start to cope with the pace of Bournemouth,” Wenger, who again complained about his side having to play twice in 48 hours, told reporters.
”But we succeeded because we have a great resilience in the team and great mental strength and that came out. In the end you are even frustrated not to win the game.
”We missed some opportunities in the end. These are the details that you have to keep composure and play until the last minute. That’s down to keeping your head cool.
“You have mixed feelings after a game like that because you wanted three points and you got only one. But when you are 3-0 down after 70 minutes you take a point as well.”
Keeper Petr Cech said Arsenal had been ‘outrun’ by Bournemouth for an hour but also praised the reaction of his team mates to adversity.
“It’s a great reaction from the team. We were 3-0 down but we found a way to play our game, open them up and score goals,” Cech told the Arsenal website.
“We were decisive in the final third and we showed great character to come back ...but the first 60 minutes was very disappointing from ourselves.”
Giroud could hardly disguise his disappointment.
”Honestly, I was sure we could have scored the winner,“ the France striker said. ”It’s a shame that we conceded three goals like that. We should not have made these kinds of mistakes.
“The way we played at the end against 10 men made me think that we should have done better. Hopefully we’ll learn from our mistakes today.”
Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Greg Stutchbury