Arsene Wenger has reflected on his side’s 3-1 defeat in Greece and claimed that his side’s poor defensive performance too often exposed goalkeepers Lukasz Fabianski and Vito Mannone.
Polish international Fabianski started his first Champions League game since recovering from his long-term shoulder injury but only made it just past the half-hour mark before being taken off with a knee injury.
Italian under-21 international Vito Mannone came on as his replacement, but struggled to cope with the pressure of such a high profile clash in his first game in over two years for the Arsenal first team.
Speaking to Sky Sports after the match, Wenger reflected that while the result did not matter, it was still a cause for concern.
“We never like to lose,” said the Frenchman. “I have some regrets, although we must give some credit to Olympiakos who played a very physical gane. In the first half it was very difficult for us.
“I don’t think we had the right tactical approach. We played too many short balls. We were unlucky as well to lose Fabianski.
“In the second half at 2-1 it looked like we might come back. They were always dangerous and in the end they deserved it.
Responding to suggestions his side lacked communication at the back, Wenger was quick to point the blame at his experienced defenders rather than raw keepers.
“Particularly in defence. We looked at each other many times. These players haven’t played a lot together and some of them have not played in the Champions League much and were a bit surprised by the pace of the game.
“I felt tonight we didn’t help our goalkeepers because when we could give them clean passes we didn’t. We exposed them our lack of quality in the pass. They [the keepers] were quite brave.
“Of course, it was not the best of starts when you come on and concede like Mannone did.”
“Unfortunately in Europe if you’re not 100 % from the start of the game it’s very difficult to win. I must say that tonight Olympiakos had a good chance to qualify, they were up for it. We had the early chances in the game and we didn’t score. Physically Olympiakos gave everything.”