February 23, 2018 / 7:33 AM / 25 days ago

Soccer: Arsenal were complacent in Ostersund defeat, says Wenger

(Reuters) - Arsenal’s poor showing in the 2-1 defeat by Ostersund in Thursday’s Europa League last-32 tie was due to complacency, the Premier League club’s manager Arsene Wenger has said.

Soccer Football - Europa League Round of 32 Second Leg - Arsenal vs Ostersunds FK - Emirates Stadium, London, Britain - February 22, 2018 Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger Action Images via Reuters/Peter Cziborra

The north London club fell behind to two quick Ostersund goals in the first half before Sead Kolasinac reduced the deficit after half-time but Arsenal were unable to make a comeback.

Despite their loss, Arsenal progressed to the last-16 on aggregate but Wenger was not happy with his team’s performance.

“We were in trouble because we were complacent and not focused,” Wenger said. “We were open every time we lost the ball and had no ideas with the ball. That’s why we were in trouble.

“In the second half, it was much better.

“We did the job to qualify. That’s what you have to keep from the night and that’s it.”

Arsenal’s easy 3-0 win in the first leg of the tie and the upcoming League Cup final against Manchester City on Sunday led his team to underestimate their Swedish opposition at the Emirates, the Frenchman added.

“The fact that we won the first leg 3-0, the fact that we have another big game on Sunday, the fact that people subconsciously think they just have to turn up to win the game,” Wenger said.

“Football doesn’t work like that. We played against a good side and ... you can be in trouble every time you’re not 100 per cent focused.”

Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru

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