Arsenal 1 Borussia Dortmund 2: 'Naive' Gunners need to mature according to manager Arsene Wenger after late defeat

Robert Lewandowski struck 10 minutes from time to condemn Arsenal to defeat despite dominating the bulk of the second half

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The Independent Football

Arsene Wenger labelled his team “naive” after they were beaten by a classic Borussia Dortmund counter-attack last night.

Arsenal lost 2-1 to Dortmund, conceding to Robert Lewandowski with seven minutes left after dominating the second half but failing to score a second. There were certainly positives in the Arsenal performance but Wenger said the fault lay with his players.

“We put ourselves on the back foot with the first goal, and were a bit naive with the second goal. If you look at the number of saves our goalkeeper had to make and we conceded two goals, then we can only look at ourselves.”

Wenger would rather his team had been patient and accepted the 1-1 scoreline. “We were not mature enough. If you cannot win a game then don’t lose it. In the second half we were on top, but made it difficult by giving them the second goal.”

“I’m disappointed. It was a game of high intensity, but very few chances. Dortmund were well organised to stop us playing and we were not as good as we can be offensively. Some of our players were not as fresh as they can be physically.”

“I felt we started a bit hesitant, which we didn’t do against Napoli, which gave them confidence. I believe our flowing football going forward was not quick enough tonight. We were not at our best.”

Jack Wilshere was substituted early in the second half after trying to play through an ankle injury, and he will be checked before Saturday’s game at Crystal Palace.

“You could see that Jack was not completely himself, which is why I decided to take him off,” Wenger said. “At the moment his desire to play absolutely gets him through the game, but he was handicapped by the first tackle he got. He looked like he landed awkwardly, and after that he looked to me like he limped a little bit.”

“We’ll see how he responds in the next two or three days. We’ll have to wait for the medical assessment.”

Wilshere, though, was confident of playing at Selhurst Park. “I will have treatment [on Wednesday] because it is still a bit swollen, but I should be all right for the weekend.”