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Wenger laments “farce” as Arsenal fall to Watford
At Arsenal Football Club, “you’re always in the middle of drama,” sighed manager Arsene Wenger. The Gunners are back in the headlines again after a 2-1 loss to Watford in the FA Cup quarterfinals, an upset Wenger labeled a “farce” for his club — for once agreeing with most football pundits. The loss was just Arsenal’s latest capitulation in a season that has fallen apart in all an all-too-familiar fashion for Wenger’s men. Watford had less than 30% of possession, but strikes from Odion Ighalo and Adlene Guedioura buried Arsenal, who have now won just one of their last seven matches in all competitions.
“It is becoming a farce. We have lost a game,” Wenger continued. “We are sad and we want to focus on the next game. Arsenal has lost games before in history and we will lose again in the future. We will stick together and cope with it and prepare for the next one with complete belief.”
Yet their confidence is shredded and the repercussions of Adlene Guedioura’s second-half blast will reverberate throughout London for some time.
The goal secured Watford’s spot in the semifinals at Wembley next month and Odion Ighalo, who was a force to be reckoned with up front alongside Troy Deeney, told Hornets PlayerHD: “It’s a dream because I’ve never played at Wembley before. It’ll be a dream come true for me to play there. Not only to play there but to win and play in the final would be great.”
“This season is an amazing season for Watford, the players play for the fans,” said the Hornets manager, Quique Sanchez Flores, per the BBC.
“I think this is the most important moment of my career.”
Guedioura has only made ten appearances for Watford since joining over the summer but was an instrumental part of their win tonight.
“He represents very well what a humble team and squad we have,” said Flores. “He signed for Watford probably expecting to play more but he has set an amazing example. I’m very happy he has scored.”
The goal put Arsenal’s long unbeaten streak in the competition to an end and their chances of a third successive FA Cup defeat dashed. Although Danny Welbeck pulled back a late goal at the end, the bridge was too far for Arsenal and they bungled their last realistic chance of silverware this season. Wednesday’s trip to the Nou Camp now looms even larger, as the Gunners hope to overcome very long odds to reverse a 0-2 deficit against Europe’s best team.
Homepage photo credit: Jason Clogg (Arsène Wenger) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons