Wenger - We deserved defeat
Frenchman admits tactical errors as Gunners lose in Greece
Last Updated: December 6, 2011 11:39pm
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger admitted his under-strength side deserved to lose as they went down 3-1 at Olympiakos in the UEFA Champions League.
Wenger fielded a much-changed side with top spot in Group F already sewn up and his fringe players failed to rise to the occasion.
Comical defending helped the Greeks race into a 2-0 half-time lead before Yossi Benayoun pulled a goal back with a superb second-half strike.
However, Olympiakos restored their two-goal advantage through Francois Modesto's late tap-in.
It ruined Wenger's hopes of marking his 200th European game with a victory.
"Many of the players did not have experience in the Champions League so were a bit surprised by pace of game."
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"I never like to lose and I have some regrets," the Frenchman told Sky Sports.
"We must give credit to Olympiakos tonight because they played a very physical game and in the first half it was very difficult for us.
"And I don't think we had the right tactical approach.
"We went too much for short balls and it was a game of contact.
"In the second half at 2-1 we looked like we might come back, but they were always dangerous and probably deserved it.
"Many of the players did not have experience in the Champions League so were a bit surprised by the pace of the game."
Arsenal lost goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski to injury in the first half and replacement Vito Mannone was at fault for the goal he conceded shortly after coming on.
But Wenger had words of support for his shot-stoppers.
"I think we didn't help our goalkeepers," he said. "We exposed them with our lack of quality in the passes we gave them and they were quite brave."