6 December 2017
Arsene Wenger has insisted there was nothing dishonest in his claim that Alexandre Lacazette would miss Arsenal’s 3 – 1 defeat against Manchester United despite the striker going on to play the entire 90 minutes last Saturday.
Jose Mourinho expressed his surprise at Lacazette’s eventual inclusion at Emirates Stadium and has since then been aiming jibe at the Frenchman. He did again last night when giving his latest team news.
When asked for injury updates, Mourinho asked, “Do you want the truth?” before he continued “The truth is [Eric] Bailly, no chance. [Phil] Jones and [Marouane] Fellaini a chance. Zlatan [Ibrahimovic] a big chance and [Nemanja] Matic is injured but will play. No stories of Lacazette, [David] Silva. All the truth.”
Wenger had originally stated Lacazette suffered a groin injury against Huddersfield in the game prior to United’s visit, meaning he would “certainly be out” of the clash with the Red Devils.
Mourinho’s consternation was provoked further when Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola, his next opponent, subsequently cast doubt over Silva’s participation in Sunday’s derby with United.
But in defending his stance over Lacazette, Wenger said: “I thought he wouldn’t play. In the end, he could play. What did you want me to do? Leave him at home?
“I am always honest. I thought really that he wouldn’t play, that’s what I had been told. After, he had a test on Friday morning and went to the game. We weren’t sure he would play but he tried and he played, that is part of football.”