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Wenger: I'm at a loss to explain

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SWANSEA, WALES - NOVEMBER 09:  Swansea player Bafetimbi Gomis (c) heads the second Swansea goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Swansea City and Arsenal at Liberty Stadium on November 9, 2014 in Swansea, Wales.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty

SWANSEA, WALES - NOVEMBER 09: Swansea player Bafetimbi Gomis (c) heads the second Swansea goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Swansea City and Arsenal at Liberty Stadium on November 9, 2014 in Swansea, Wales. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty

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SWANSEA, WALES - NOVEMBER 09: Swansea player Bafetimbi Gomis (c) heads the second Swansea goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Swansea City and Arsenal at Liberty Stadium on November 9, 2014 in Swansea, Wales. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty

It was an all too familiar sight for Arsene Wenger as Arsenal threw away a lead to lose 2-1 at Swansea City yesterday and the Frenchman acknowledged his flaky team are becoming a cause for concern.

It may only have been their second Premier League defeat of the season but Wenger's side have now lost nine points from a winning position, more than any other top-flight team, indicating it is a bigger problem than simply poor form.

After taking a second-half lead through Alexis Sanchez, Arsenal continued to push forward with 15 minutes to go and were punished by two goals in four minutes from Swansea.

The north London club's defensive frailties are not limited to domestic competition either. They squandered a three-goal lead to draw 3-3 at home to Anderlecht in the Champions League on Tuesday.

CRITICAL VOICES

Ahead of the game in Wales, Wenger defended his back line against a host of critical voices including former Arsenal player-turned-pundit Paul Merson but the manager had no answers for the naivety of his team at the Liberty Stadium.

"It is difficult to explain how we lost the lead," Wenger said.

"We were in control but they did not give up, we lost some decisive challenges in the middle of the park and paid for that. That is where we lost the battle.

"I worry that we concede the goals, yes. We just lost a game that we feel we should not have lost," added Wenger.

"You have to win the games you can win and today was one. If you want to challenge for the Premier League you have to be a bit more realistic."

Arsenal are sixth with 17 points from 11 matches, 12 adrift of leaders Chelsea and eight fewer than the total Wenger's side had at the same stage last season when they were top of the table. The Gunners have mustered a worst start to a Premier League campaign once before, two seasons ago.

Germany defender Per Mertesacker said the team were over- complicating things.

"The game was completely in our hands but then we have to play serious football and not make mistakes," he explained. "We have potential but unless we play that serious football any team will punish us.

"We have to play simple. We think we can do some difficult things but we need to keep possession. After such a setback as Anderlecht we normally bounce back straight away but we didn't. We need to work hard on the issues now."

Wenger now has to contend with a two-week international break before the visit of Manchester United in three weeks' time.

Swans manager Garry Monk was pleased his side never gave up after going behind to Sanchez's goal and thinks the belief within the squad was a big factor in turning things around.

He said: "We talked about belief before the game, as a group, and this week and how good we've been, and how much better we can be and we keep on going until the very end.

"I think that's one of the first times this season we've come from behind and it just shows that character we've got within in the squad.

"We've had a few injuries this week, which haven't helped, but it just shows you how together the group are and whoever steps in does very well and they deserved that win in the end."

On the changes Monk made, bringing on Gomis after 76 minutes, the Swans boss was happy the tactic paid off, adding: "They got the goal and fortunately for us it was quite an even game.

£We made the changes and sometimes they go for you and sometimes they don't but thankfully they went for us today.

DESERVED

"If anybody deserved that Bafi deserved his goal, he's been working very hard and been patient in training and obviously with Bony doing well - I'm pleased for him.

"I can't grumble, it was quite an even game, looking at the stats. We took our chances and deserved the win.

"We beat Manchester United on the first day - one of the big teams - and we just beat Arsenal. We take each game as it comes and keep improving."


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