Euro naivety cost us dear, says Wenger


ARSENAL manager Arsene Wenger admitted he was “annoyed” after watching his side’s unbeaten run in this season’s Champions League evaporate following an error-strewn performance in Athens.

Already through and guaranteed of top spot in Group F, defeat still came at a cost with reserve goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski and first-choice left-back Andre Santos both suffering serious looking injuries

Unfortunate as those blows were, much of the damage was self-inflicted with Fabianski and his replacement Vito Mannone culpable for goals from Rafik Djebbour and David Fuster which put the home side 2-0 up at the break.

Yossi Benayoun gave Arsenal hope with a crashing volley in the 57th minute, but Francois Modesto’s late strike confirmed a victory that would have taken the Greeks through, had Marseille not completed an astonishing 3-2 comeback win in Dortmund.

Wenger said: “I am annoyed because we lost the game. It’s difficult to single out (individuals) – I feel offensively and defensively we were not convincing tonight. We lost many challenges.

“You could feel there was more at stake for Olympiacos than us. I think that made us insecure defensively. We lost many balls in position where we are not used to.

“It’s a fantastic experience for the young players. They’ll realise what kind of intensity you need at that level. I still think, in patches, some young players have shown good things but, as a team, we missed a bit of maturity to keep the ball when we were under pressure.”