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Mel: Emirates defeat was harsh

PUBLISHED

17:19 4th May 2014

And Baggies boss left ruing conceding from set-piece

PEPE Mel felt today’s 1-0 defeat at Arsenal was harsh and his side deserved a point from the Emirates Stadium encounter.

The Baggies were left to rue conceding from a set-piece as Olivier Giroud scored the only goal of the game came from Santi Cazorla’s 14th minute corner.

And, while Albion found it tough to carve out chances of their own, they contained the Gunners’ attacking threat well with a makeshift defence.

“I think we did enough to get a point,” said Mel.

“When you play against the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City you simply cannot concede from set-pieces.

“I think in the second half, when we changed things and pressed a bit higher up the field, we did a better job.

“In the first half we weren’t as good.”

With the North London trip the first of three games in a week, Billy Jones was kept on the sidelines as a precaution after only recently returning from a hamstring injury.

Gareth McAuley was only deemed ready for the bench after missing the last two weeks due to a calf injury.

And Steven Reid was unavailable after losing his fitness race with a groin problem, with Liam Ridgewell (knee) already ruled out.

It meant out-of-position duo Chris Brunt and Craig Dawson had to play at left-back and right-back respectively, while Diego Lugano made his first start in 13 games at centre-half.

“In a week in which we have three games we really do have to look after Billy,” added Mel.

“And in this particular game we decided not to put him in.”

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