'We made it easy for them'

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The Independent Online

Arsene Wenger last night admitted that he did not know if his side's woeful showing against Bayern Munich was down to "physical or psychological" reasons given their past failures in the Champions' League. He also described the performance as the worst he had experienced in European competition since he has been in charge of the team.

Arsene Wenger last night admitted that he did not know if his side's woeful showing against Bayern Munich was down to "physical or psychological" reasons given their past failures in the Champions' League. He also described the performance as the worst he had experienced in European competition since he has been in charge of the team.

"We were just not sharp," he said. "I just don't know [why]". He added: "I feel we had a bad performance. We are down in the dressing-room because, of course, we made things easy for Bayern by giving the early goal away."

He agreed that his team appeared to lose belief once they fell behind inside five minutes. "It looked like that," he said. "But I knew they should believe there was still 175 minutes to go [including the return leg]".

Wenger refused to blame either the goalkeeper Jens Lehmann or defender Kolo Touré but said: "I feel Kolo has doubts in his mind at the moment. We need to pump him up again."

Wenger added: "We never looked comfortable tonight. We were not sharp and lost Edu at a crucial stage. It was a very bad night. We should be out but we are not. But there is enough time for crying. I could cry - maybe it would be easier - but life goes on.

"At 3-0 they had a great chance through [Torsten] Frings. At 3-1 it is possible that we can do it at Highbury. But we need a different kind of performance. What we did tonight was not enough to beat this Bayern team, who I feel is not exceptional."

Lehmann felt Arsenal could still hope. "It would have been impossible to go through at 3-0 but with the goal we still have chances," he said. "Everything is possible and at least there will be a chance in two weeks. The goals were very easy against us. In my time here we have never conceded three easy goals like that, but sometimes it happens."

Lehmann added: "Do I blame myself for the third goal? As a goalkeeper I always blame myself. But we just need to win 2-0 [at Highbury] and we are through. Bayern haven't played very well tonight but if you lose 3-1 you don't have a lot of arguments."

Bayern's coach, Felix Magath, said he was angry with his side for conceding the late goal. He added: "I'm not satisfied because with the final goal we made things hard for ourselves against a good team who can score three or four goals against us at Highbury. We allowed them back in."

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