Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal were “complacent” and “not focused” during the first half of their Europa League clash with Ostersunds on Thursday.
The Gunners went into the second leg of their round-of-32 tie at the Emirates Stadium with a 3-0 lead from the reverse match in Sweden but saw the majority of that advantage evaporate as they conceded two first-half goals without reply.
Sead Kolasinac’s strike early in the second half did restore some breathing space in the tie and the Gunners eventually prevailed 4-2 on aggregate. But Wenger admitted his side were not at the races during the opening 45 minutes.
He said in his post-match press conference: “We were in trouble because we were complacent and not focused. We were open every time we lost the ball and had no ideas with the ball. That’s why we were in trouble.”
The Frenchman felt his side improved in the second half and he insists progressing to the last 16 was always the main priority.
“In the second half, it was much better. Our energy was high and our domination as consistent,” Wenger added.
“Overall we responded very well. We did the job to qualify. That’s what you have to keep from the night and that’s it.”
Arsenal are next in action when they take on Manchester City in the final of the Carabao Cup on Sunday.
The north Londoners are priced at 3.00 to lift the trophy at Wembley Stadium while City are available at 1.33.