By 90Min
November 06, 2017

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has told Arsenal's official website that injuries and illness to his defenders were the main reason that midfielder Francis Coquelin played in defence during Sunday's 3-1 loss at Manchester City.

Coquelin, who usually plays as a defensive midfielder, played in the back three of a 3-4-2-1 formation, but the Gunners were blown away by the league leaders and Wenger's team selection, especially Coquelin's positioning, was heavily criticised as a result.

The Frenchman told the club's website: "I can explain to you that Mertesacker came into training yesterday morning, sick. That Holding had a thigh strain. That Debuchy had just come back from [being] a long-time absentee. 

"That I don’t see that big a problem to play in the middle of the [central defensive] two. You’re a defensive midfielder or a defender, it’s exactly the same. I don’t think that was a problem in our game."

The defeat, Arsenal's fourth on their travels this season, leaves the Gunners sixth with a first title since 2004 already looking impossible this season. They face a huge game after the international break whe they host North London rivals Tottenham at home.

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