Rio Ferdinand: Why Arsenal were naive against Barcelona

Rio Ferdinand explains why Arsene Wenger was so frustrated after Tuesday night's 2-0 loss to Barcelona

The Sport Review staff
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Rio Ferdinand has accused Arsenal of being naïve after Tuesday night’s 2-0 loss to Barcelona.

The Gunners suffered a big blow to their hopes of reaching the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time in six attempts after Barcelona secured a commanding aggregate lead.

To concede through a counter-attack would have frustrated Wenger

Rio Ferdinand

Arsenal managed to tame Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez for the opening 71 minutes before the Barcelona trio exploited the home side on the break as Messi finished from close range.

The Argentina international added a second spot after Arsenal substitute Mathieu Flamini fouled Messi in Petr Cech’s area.

Former Manchester United defender Ferdinand, who won the Champions League in 2008, explained why Arsene Wenger was so frustrated with his players following the 2-0 loss.

“In the pre-match talks with the squad, he has highlighted the counter-attack as a big issue that they had to combat,” Ferdinand told BT Sport.

“To concede through a counter-attack would have frustrated Wenger. It was naivety.”

Ferdinand added: “The disappointment is that he pre-empted what could happen and they fell into that trap.”

Arsenal have beaten Barcelona once in eight attempts following Tuesday night’s latest defeat by the Catalan side.

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The Gunners make the trip to bitter rivals Manchester United in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon.

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