London, Nov 22 (IANS) Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger lashed out at his players after they lost 1-2 to West Bromwich Albion and missed the chance to take the top spot in the English Premier League (EPL) standings. West Bromwich scored through James Morrison’s volley and a Mikel Arteta own goal on Saturday after Olivier Giroud gaven Arsenal the lead. Arsenal are now fourth in the EPL points table behind Leicester City, Manchester United and Manchester City. “It was a very bad afternoon for us. We had 70 per cent possession, we scored an own goal, we missed a penalty, we gave away a goal from a set-piece, that is perfect to make the afternoon a nightmare,” Wenger said after the match.
“We missed open goal chances. I believe West Brom did fight with 100 per cent commitment as well and you have to give them credit for that,” he added. The 66-year-old Frenchman asserted that his team should have done more to take control of the match after gaining the lead. “It was a huge goal when we scored and then you just make sure they do not come back with an easy goal. We were 1-0 up in the 28th minute and then 2-1 down before the 45th, so our defending on that level was very, very poor,” Wenger was quoted as saying by the local media. “At 1-0 we had just to make sure they did not come back with an easy goal and that’s where we were guilty, because apart from that I cannot fault the team who gave what they could until the last minute. We produced enough to win the game,” he added. Wenger also ruled out suggestions that the recent terror attacks may have affected the mental focus of Arsenal’s French players Giroud and Laurent Koscielny. “Once you are in the competition you are in the competition to be professional. How much did it affect them? I don’t know, I can only speak for myself,” he stated. “When you are on the pitch, you are on the pitch. I would not explain our defeat by that.”