Wenger: We gave it everything

by Michelle Fortune , 12 December 2012

Arsene Wenger paid tribute to his team after watching them exit the Capital One League Cup at the hands of Bradford City on Tuesday night.

The League Two outfit came close to beating the Gunners in normal time but Thomas Vermaelen's late header secured a 1-1 draw to send the quarter-final into extra time.

Arsenal threatened to break Bradford's hearts but with the crowd on their side the League Two side held on to set up a penalty shoot-out.

Having won their last eight shoot-outs, Bradford may have been considered the favourites to progress and their odds shortened when Marouane Chamakh and Santi Cazorla failed with their attempts.

Arsenal managed to claw their way back into the shootout only for Vermaelen to miss from the spot to send the crowd at the Coral Windows Stadium into raptures.

Wenger is under increasing pressure to start delivering silverware after a seven-year absence and a fifth loss in six matches did little to ease the uncertainty surrounding the Frenchman.

However, he refused to criticise his team, claiming they gave everything they had to the cause.

"We did absolutely everything for 120 minutes and you have to give credit to Bradford. You feel embarrassed when you don't give everything, I think they'll be more disappointed and frustrated," Wenger said.

"It was a great cup tie on a tough pitch and I cannot fault the effort from my players. It was a typical English cup tie and Bradford got on top of us. They started stronger than us and congratulations to them.

"We played with basically five strikers but couldn't score. You have to say they defended very, very well. In a cup tie any team always has a chance.

"I don't think there's any psychological problem with the players when it comes to knockout ties. I don't think it's a lack of quality. We will get over this - it is part of our job - and focus on the next game."

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