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Arsene Wenger slams ‘naive’ and ‘technically average’ Arsenal players for throwing away Barcelona result

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Arsene Wenger uncharacteristically tore into his ‘naive’ Arsenal squad for handing the advantage to Barcelona going into the side’s second-leg clash at the Camp Nou.

The Gunners matched Luis Enrique’s side for 70 minutes but, as their attention switched from a draw to a win, Wenger’s side were caught on the counter-attack by Luis Suarez, Neymar and Lionel Messi.

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The Argentine scored his second of the night when he converted a penalty given away by Mathieu Flamini in the dying minutes.

And Wenger, who is normally reserved in his criticism of his own side, couldn’t hold back in his post-match press conference and compared the game to the side’s last-16 clash with Monaco last season.

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Barcelona are a great team, we know that before the game,’ said Wenger.

‘We put a lot of energy into the game but I believe technically we were very average overall.

‘The regret I have is that once we look like we are dominating the game in the last 15-20 minutes we give the goal away.

‘Similar to Monaco – naive. That is what is frustrating. When we looked like we could win this game we just gave it away.

‘We were impatient in the build-up, we lost balls that we usually don’t lose and it wasn’t because Barcelona forced us to do it but just because we technically were not precise enough in our passing.’

Metro

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