Wenger defends decision to rest Cazorla, Wilshere & Walcott

The Frenchman named a weakened team ahead of his side's FA Cup fifth-round meeting with Blackburn and was made to pay as Michael Appleton's men earned a shock 1-0 win

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has defended his decision to rest the likes of Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott ahead of Saturday's 1-0 FA Cup defeat to Blackburn.

The Frenchman opted to name a weakened starting line-up for the game at the Emirates Stadium, with a Champions League last-16 first-leg clash with Bayern Munich approaching on Tuesday.

Club legend Ian Wright laid the blame solely at Wenger’s feet, claiming an unnecessary focus on a fourth-place finish in the Premier League yet again affected a chance for silverware, but Wenger has hit back at suggestions that his selection was to blame.

"We had 11 international players on the pitch at the start of the game," he told reporters.

"We made a massive mistake on [Blackburn's] goal ... we were really guilty on the goal. We were not good enough today to win the game, it's as simple as that."