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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admitted his players were a bit off the pace but has backed them to bounce back from their Champions League defeat to Borussia Dortmund.
The Gunners went into Tuesday’s clash at the Emirates Stadium with maximum points from their games against Marseille and Napoli but came away empty-handed thanks to goals by Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Robert Lewandowski.
Olivier Giroud netted for the hosts but they were unable to play the flowing football that had been the hallmark of a 12-match unbeaten run and taken them to the top of the Premier League.
The north London clash was seen as the first real test of Arsenal’s ability to take their game to another level this term and they failed the examination despite matching the Germans for long periods of the game.
And, with a number of big matches on the horizon for Wenger’s charges, the boss feels his tired stars need to use the experience of failure as extra motivation.
“Disappointment is part of how a team grows,” he said. “Some players are a bit jaded, it was a game of high intensity, but very few chances.”
And the French tactician felt that his men were not streetwise enough to hang on for a point against a side that knew exactly what they were doing right from the first whistle.
“Dortmund were well organised to stop us playing but we put ourselves on the back foot for the first goal, and were naive for the second,” he added.
“We started hesitantly and gave them confidence. Our fluent football was not quick enough.”