Belfast Telegraph

Arsene Wenger hits at schedule after thriller at Bournemouth

By Ian Baker

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger felt he was forced to include injured players as his side battled back from 3-0 down to salvage a point in a six-goal thriller at Bournemouth. Olivier Giroud's injury time header completed a comeback after the Cherries had enjoyed a three-goal advantage until the 70th-minute.

Yet Wenger was still far from happy at having to play the game on the south coast just 48 hours after a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace, giving their opponents an extra day to prepare.

"It was a physical test and a mental test," said Wenger. "Congratulations to them but, as well, it is too uneven to have only two days to play against a team who had over three days rest.

"I'm ready to play again tomorrow as long as I play against an opponent who played today as well. That is what I call fair."

Even opposite number Eddie Howe admitted his side had been handed an advantage.

"I'm not going to deny that will have had an impact on the game but that's why you change the squad," he said.

"You can imagine what the mood's like and that is a real shame as they should be congratulated."

Bournemouth had captain Simon Francis dismissed eight minutes from the end for a tackle on Aaron Ramsey.

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