Boss defends changes
[.[views].], BY ClubCall
Arsene Wenger defended his decision to make 10 changes after Arsenal were defeated 2-0 by Southampton in the EFL Cup quarter-finals.
Gunners midfielder Mohamed Elneny was the only survivor from Sunday's Premier League win over Bournemouth and even with Granit Xhaka and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain coming off the bench, Wenger's men never looked close to getting on the scoresheet.
The defeat is Arsenal's first in 19 games in all competitions, but Wenger says the only thing he would change is the result of the match.
"I regret that we lost the game. We had played well until now," he said. "If you look at the players who played well tonight, some of those who did not play tonight were on the edge.
"In midfield we had Coquelin, Ramsey, Elneny, Xhaka, Perez... Giroud was injured. We had Iwobi, one of the regular players in the first team.
"The problem wasn't there. We had players who are used to top-level competition. But we didn't have the right urgency. I'm disappointed. We had a disappointing performance, particularly in the first half.
"I think we were not good enough defensively and gave cheap goals away in the first half. It was better in the second, but it was one of those nights where you look like you could play two hours without scoring a goal.
"We didn't have enough urgency in the first half and were weak in some departments. We paid for that. We were not incisive enough in the first half especially.
"They played deeper in the second half and were sharper than us and fitter. If you give someone a handicap of two goals, against a Premier League side it's difficult."