West Ham 3 Arsenal 3: Andy Carroll was 'lucky' not to see red, claims 'disappointed' Arsene Wenger

The 27-year-old striker scored a hat-trick and caused havoc against the Gunners

Mark Ogden
Upton Park
Saturday 09 April 2016 16:53
Comments
Wenger remonstrates with fourth official Jon Moss
Wenger remonstrates with fourth official Jon Moss

Arsene Wenger claimed Andy Carroll was 'lucky' to escape a red card before scoring a hat-trick for West Ham during a remarkable 3-3 draw against Arsenal at Upton Park.

The former England forward returned from injury to produce his best performance for West Ham, scoring three and causing havoc against an Arsenal team which now lies ten points adrift of Premier League leaders Leicester City with just six games left to play.

But with Carroll earning a third minute booking for a late challenge on Laurent Koscielny before a subsequent elbowing incident with Arsenal defender Gabriel, Wenger -- who admitted his surprise to see Carroll on the West Ham team-sheet -- insisted he was surprised to see the former Liverpool forward end the game for the home side.

"Yes," Wenger said, when asked whether Carroll was fortunate to avoid a red card. "He could have been sent off, but even if he had, we should still have defended better against headers. We have been punished for a weakness that we have had this season.

"We've shown resilience and spirit to come back to 3-3. In the last 20 mins it could have gone both ways, but I’m disappointed we didn't have an answer to Andy Carroll.

"I didn't expect him to start, though, because he has not played the last five or six games.

Arsenal's failure to hold onto their 2-0 first-half lead has seen the club's title hopes all but evaporate, but Wenger insists it is still too early to abandon hope.

"Do we still have an opportunity to win the title? I don’t know," Wenger said. "We made it more difficult today.

"We are third in the league with 59 points and it is not where we want to be. It is difficult now to be champions, but we have to keep going because you never know what can happen.

"There are also clubs chasing us, so it is important to finish as high as we can.

"But I’m not here after the game to blame the players. We are disappointed to concede three goals. Particularly after 2-1. Overall it’s a shame."

Laurent Koscielny was felled by Carroll early on

Carroll, who admitted after the game that he still believes he can force his way into England's Euro 2016 squad, played in place of Diafra Sakho, who Slaven Bilic insisted was absent after reporting a 'minor injury.'

The former Newcastle striker is now set to face Manchester United in Wednesday's FA Cup quarter-final replay at Upton Park, but despite his impressive display, Bilic warned that the injury-ravaged player must now focus on staying fit.

"Andy Carroll has everything," Bilic said. "It's impossible to stop him. His work rate, watch how many times he tried to get the ball off them. He was keeping the ball, laying it off.

"And with his heading, he's maybe the best in the world, but he has to stay away from those injuries.

"He's professional but he's got to be totally dedicated to his career and football."

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in