• Champions League

Vermaelen: Arsenal were sloppy

ESPN staff
October 3, 2012
Arsenal's defence was shaky against Olympiakos © PA Photos

Thomas Vermaelen was far from impressed with Arsenal's display despite Wednesday's 3-1 victory over Olympiakos in the Champions League.

The Gunners are sitting pretty at the top of Group B after back-to-back wins in Europe, earned on Wednesday by goals from Gervinho, Lukas Podolski and Aaron Ramsey.

However, the defensive display was far from convincing as the Greeks equalised for 1-1 through Kostas Mitroglou's header. Both Mitroglou and Paulo Machado also wasted further chances to stun the home crowd.

Arsenal were fortunate to reach half-time on level terms, although they controlled matters in the second period to get the result. Vermaelen, though, wants the Gunners to focus from the first whistle.

"The second half was better, in the first half we were sloppy sometimes with the passing, we lost a lot of balls," the Belgium international told Sky Sports.

"We started well but the first half was not great.

"We started with a high tempo and that was great but then we dropped a little. I don't think it was because of the weekend [defeat to Chelsea], sometimes these things can happen.

"We did much better in the second half."

Arsenal celebrate 16 years under the stewardship of Arsene Wenger this week, although their boss continued to serve his touchline ban on Wednesday. Vermaelen is now keen to wrap up the group quickly so Arsenal can mark the year with a strong run in Europe.

"It gives us more confidence to have two wins from two. The most important thing is to win your home games. We want to keep it going."

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