Arsene Wenger hails Arsenal’s 'outstanding' fans despite protests and in-fighting during Manchester City draw

Mark Critchley
The Independent
Wenger endured another turbulent afternoon at the Emirates: Getty
Wenger endured another turbulent afternoon at the Emirates: Getty

Arsene Wenger hailed Arsenal’s supporters as “sensational” and “outstanding” after his side’s 2-2 draw with Manchester City, despite hundreds of fans protesting against his continued stewardship of the club.

With uncertainty surrounding the Frenchman’s long-term future and following a fly-over protest during the defeat to West Bromwich Albion, anti-Wenger supporters demonstrated outside the Emirates Stadium an hour before kick-off.

There was then fury in the stands when a lack of defensive concentration allowed Leroy Sane to put the visitors ahead after just five minutes and audible boos could be heard after Sergio Aguero’s goal sent City into half-time with a 2-1 lead.

Wenger, however, made a point of praising the home support before being asked specifically about the protests in his post-match press conference, and hailed the Emirates crowd as ‘absolutely sensational’.

“Despite all that’s happened on the fans front, I felt our fans were fantastic today,” he said.

“In very difficult moments in the game, I felt our fans, at 1-0 down, 2-1 down just before half-time, our fans could have turned against us. I think they were absolutely sensational and helped the team today to get through that difficult moment.”

Wenger said he had not heard about unconfirmed reports claiming that fights had broken out between pro- and anti-Wenger fans both inside and outside of the stadium.

“I am not aware of what’s happening outside. What's important in football is what happens inside the pitch and inside the stadium, and I feel the fans were absolutely outstanding today.”

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