Arsene Wenger claims Arsenal have the same problem as Manchester City

Arsene Wenger believes Manchester City are lacking in defence [Picture: BeIN Sports]
Arsene Wenger believes Manchester City are lacking in defence [Picture: BeIN Sports]
Arsene Wenger believes Manchester City are experiencing the same struggles as his former side Arsenal in defence.

The Frenchman was providing pundity for BeIN Sports for City’s 2-1 win against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu on Wednesday night.

Isco gave Real the lead in the second half but a Gabriel Jesus header drew City level before Kevin De Bruyne gave Pep Guardiola’s side one of the most famous victories in the club’s history when he slotted home from the penalty spot seven minutes from time.

Despite City’s victory, it was not an entirely positive night as Aymeric Laporte continued his injury-ravaged season by limping out of the game shortly after the half-hour mark.

City have struggled in Laporte’s absence this season and have been heavily criticised for not buying a centre-back last summer to provide cover for the defender.

But Wenger says he suffered a similar problem at Arsenal, where he found there simply wasn’t a wealth of options in the transfer market to strengthen in defence.

‘I think Man City spent a lot of money on defenders,’ said Wenger.

‘If you look over four or five years they spent a huge amount of money. That shows that it’s not easy to find the defenders who strengthen their team. Everybody is looking for defenders.

‘When I was at Arsenal everybody says “Well you have to find defenders” but we’re sitting there saying; ‘well, big defenders are not anymore easy to find even with a lot of money’.

‘They have disappeared and that’s why they have a job to do there. If they lose Laporte until the end of the season it could be a handicap for them in the Champions League. The Premier League is decided so that has gone, now their target they have the quality to win the Champions League but of course they need to be solid defensively’

Pep Guardiola paired Nicolas Otamendi alongside Laporte from the start in Madrid, starting Fernandinho on the bench instead.

Madrid had various opportunities to double their lead but they were left to rue their charitable finishing when Jesus equalised.

Sergio Ramos complained of a push before the goal but VAR found no reason to overturn the referee’s decision and the Spanish defender compounded a poor night for Madrid by receiving a red card in the dying minutes for bringing down Riyad Mahrez when he was through on goal.

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