Wenger: qualification is difficult for us now - The New Indian Express

Wenger: qualification is difficult for us now

Published: 24th October 2013 12:26 AM

Last Updated: 24th October 2013 12:26 AM

Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger believes the Premier League leaders will need to be more streetwise if they are to progress in Europe after a late goal from Robert Lewandowski condemned his side to a 2-1 Champions League defeat by Borussia Dortmund.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan had put the well-drilled Germans ahead in the 16th minute of the Group F clash at the Emirates Stadium after Gunners midfielder Aaron Ramsey gave away possession on the edge of his own penalty area.

However, Arsenal - who had thumped Norwich 4-1 on Saturday - regrouped and were level just before half-time through Olivier Giroud before substitute Santi Cazorla curled a 20-yard effort against the woodwork.

All of Arsenal's efforts, though, were undone as Dortmund - last season's beaten Champions League finalists - netted with just eight minutes left on the counter-attack through Lewandowski to ruin Wenger's 64th birthday and leave the Gunners still with work to do to qualify for the knockout stages.

"If you cannot win the game, you don't lose it. Especially in the second half when we were on top, we made things difficult for ourselves by giving them the second goal," said Wenger.

"We put ourselves on the back foot with the first goal and we were naive for the second goal.

"If you look at the number of saves our keeper had to make and you concede two goals, you can say that we can only look at ourselves for not being mature enough in situations like that."

Lewandowski, though, could well have earlier been shown a red card rather than only a yellow from Swedish referee Jonas Eriksson when he clashed with Laurent Koscielny, and seemed to catch the defender with a stray elbow.

Wenger said: "It looked like [it could have been a red card], but I haven't seen it well, but the referee was in a much better position than I was and didn't decide to do it."

Arsenal now find themselves in a three-way fight for top spot in their group on six points, along with Dortmund and Napoli - who beat Marseille 2-1 - and will need a better result when they travel to Germany in two weeks' time.

"It is tight and difficult for us, but possible," Wenger said. "We need a result away from home, but we can do that."

Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp, who watched from the stands because of a touchline ban, felt his side were worth their victory.

"Winning abroad in London, of course you need a bit of luck for that, but if you manage to make the difference with one extra goal then I think you also deserve it," he said.

"We didn't come here to dominate Arsenal in London, we came here to get a result and that is what we did."

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