Our confidence came back against Lincoln – Wenger
- Updated: March 12, 2017
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger felt his side showed against Lincoln City that they have their confidence back, following the heavy defeat by Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
The Gunners beat the non-league side 5-0 at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday to reach the FA Cup semi-finals.
It came after they lost 5-1 to Bayern Munich at the same ground on Tuesday.
“We have been short of confidence after some disappointing results recently,” said Wenger.
“When the confidence was there in the second half, our quality came back.
“It was all us in the second half but you have to congratulate Lincoln for what they have achieved in the FA Cup.”
‘We had to respond’
It was a much-needed win for Wenger after a difficult couple of weeks.
Arsenal had lost five of their seven games prior to the visit of the Imps – including 5-1 defeats home and away to Bayern Munich and a 3-1 loss to Liverpool in the Premier League.
Wenger’s long-term future at Arsenal is uncertain, with his contract due to expire this summer, and there were protests calling for the Frenchman to step down prior to Saturday’s game.
Arsenal initially looked nervous against Lincoln before Theo Walcott opened the scoring just before half-time.
“We were a bit nervous because your confidence drops when you don’t have the results,” added Wenger.
“The team was unjustifiably criticised for our last game against Bayern Munich because we had an outstanding game.
“The game was killed not by the fault of the players but we have to look at the bigger perspective.
“Overall, we had to respond and that’s what we did.”
Lincoln boss proud of historic journey
The defeat for Lincoln brought to an end their historic FA Cup run, in which they became the first non-league side in 103 years to reach the quarter-finals.
Around 9,000 fans made the trip south to cheer Lincoln on and boss Danny Cowley praised their “world class” support.
“We need to learn from this journey, not just from today but this journey,” he said.
“And if we can really, really learn and take something from playing against world-class players then we will be better footballers and players as a result.”
“I did our fans a massive disservice in the week because I said they were Premier League. They were much, much better than that.
“You saw world-class players play today in the Arsenal team but you also heard and witnessed world-class supporters because that’s how good they were.”
Former Arsenal and England defender Martin Keown on Match of the Day
Lincoln revitalised the FA Cup, their run was magical. Arsenal came in wounded, there was a lack of confidence early on, but the goal just before half-time was perfect and settled them down. Them needing that goal to settle them down was some compliment to Lincoln, but the Gunners played with a swagger in the second half. Still, Lincoln can hold their heads very high.
Former England winger Trevor Sinclair on Match of the Day
A National League team getting to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup? It is a fantastic achievement. I am sure everyone at the club will be so proud, and it doesn’t happen by accident. They kept Arsenal at bay for 45 minutes.
The players and fans will remember it for the rest of their lives.