Nerves got the better of Arsenal at Man Utd, Wenger claims

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes his side were too nervous in their meeting with Manchester United, BBC Sport has reported, as the Premier League champions beat the current league leaders by a single Robin van Persie goal.

Van Persie struck just before the half-hour mark, converting a Wayne Rooney corner, and Wenger feels the game was won and lost in the opening 45 minutes. “We were just too nervous in the first half,” he said.

We haven’t won for a long time here now,” Wenger added. “Once again it is a tight game that has been decided on a set-piece. We rushed our game too much and lost too many balls.

Wenger continued: “In the second half we were composed, had a real go and played our usual game… We were very, very, very close a few times.

The heart was in the game, the desire was in there, but maybe a bit too much in the first-half. We are quite strong on defending set-pieces and I was surprised we were caught on the near post.

Arsenal remain top of the table despite the defeat but are now only two points clear of Liverpool, who beat Fulham 4-0 on Saturday. The win closes the gap between United and Arsenal to five points, with David Moyes’ side now fifth in the table.

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