Wenger: We weren’t focused and had no ideas on the ball

Date published: Thursday 22nd February 2018 10:46

Arsene Wenger thinks his Arsenal side showed complacency in the first half against Ostersunds as they lost 2-1 on the night but progressed to the last-16 of the Europa League 4-2 on aggregate.

Ostersund, who fell to a 3-0 defeat in the first leg last week, scored twice in the space of a minute in the first half to breathe new life into the last-32 tie.

Hosam Aiesh’s shot was deflected into his own net by Calum Chambers after 22 minutes and moments later Ken Sema lashed home a second for the visitors.

Sead Kolasinac eased some home nerves with a close-range finish just after half-time and Arsenal saw out the game to win 4-2 on aggregate.

“We were not at the races in the first half,” said Wenger. “The second half was much better. Our energy was higher and we were in control. We were complacent in the first half, not focused and had no ideas on the ball.

“I think the team in the first half was not at the level you expect. It was not easy for the defenders as we lost the ball early and didn’t screen the ball well.

“Ostersund might not have a glamorous name but technically and collectively they’re a good side.”

Alex Iwobi and Jack Wilshere left the field after being down on the turf in separate instances but Wenger had positive news on the duo, he said: “Iwobi had cramp. Wilshere is OK.”

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