Wenger: RVP gamble was a failure

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Old 03-Nov-2011
Harpreet Seehra
Wenger: RVP gamble was a failure

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admitted his decision to rest Robin van Persie against Marseille was a failure after their 0-0 Champions League draw.
The Frenchman left out club captain and talisman Robin van Persie, putting on Park Chu-young instead, but found that the Gunners simply did not have enough power to overcome Marseille's stubborn defence.
Speaking to UEFA.com after the game, Wenger said: "We defended very well and tried very hard but lacked the quality in the final third to finish off our chances. We had a few in the first half.
"Aaron Ramsey had two and Robin van Persie in the second half as well.
"Overall it was a very difficult game. Marseille were physically very impressive and closed us down at every opportunity".
The Arsenal manager admitted that his side were tired after beating Chelsea 5-3 at Stamford Bridge.
"We lacked match sharpness after our performance at Chelsea on Saturday", he added.
"Leaving Robin on the bench was a gamble that did not come off, but he was very tired after Saturday's efforts. I took the gamble to rest him although he had the chance to score when he came on, which would have been the perfect play.
"Now we want to win the Dortmund game at home, but overall we are in a good position. It was also important that we kept a clean sheet tonight [Tuesday]", Wenger added.
Marseille manager Didier Deschamps rued his side's inability to snap up all three points at the Emirates Stadium.
"It could have been better but the quality of the match we played was outstanding. The players produced a big performance", Deschamps said.
"It is true we wasted some opportunities which gave us hope to win this match but we faced such good opponents. We are rewarded with one point.
The manager looked ahead to Marseille's next game, as they welcome Olympiacos.
"Now the key game will be at home against Olympiacos. The team performance was good and we used the ball well even though the formation was different.
"There was a lot of motivation and determination with different players from the last game. I have a squad that performs well. We have not lacked courage, determination, but perhaps we could have done better in the final third.
"At such a high level, the game is decided by very small things. I have no complaints about the content even if in the first half we lost possession too easily. I regret that we could not finish the job", Deschamps concluded.

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