• Premier League

Wenger brands Arsenal defending 'naive'

ESPN staff
November 23, 2014
Wenger: Arsenal dominated

Arsene Wenger branded his Arsenal players "naïve" after their 2-1 defeat to Manchester United on Saturday ensured their worst ever start to a Premier League campaign.

An own-goal from Kieran Gibbs and a Wayne Rooney strike on the counter-attack gave United their first league away win of the season season, but left Wenger unhappy with his side's mentality.

"Defensively we were a bit naive," Wenger said. "It's a game that we dominated for 80 percent of the time and we haven't dominated a game like that against Manchester United for a long time.

"We were not efficient enough in the final third, defensively, and we made a mistake at the back which they took advantage of. That's the story of the game. We had plenty of chances. Their keeper [David de Gea] is man of the match. That tells you the story of the game.

"We played with freedom and we pressed them very high. We won balls back and we had plenty of opportunities to finish this game off.

"I think we made a big mistake on the first goal and when you're 1-0 down you're too impatient. We were not cautious enough and we gave the second goal away.

"I don't know why we had nobody at the back at all - you could see straight away that giving a two against one in your own half means you will be punished against these players."

There was added woe for Wenger, who saw midfielder Jack Wilshere come off through injury. The Frenchman added: "I don't know how bad it is because he tried to stay on and couldn't. It could be an ankle problem, I don't know how bad it is."

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