Arsenal 0 West Ham 2: Arsene Wenger points to nerves and poor defending

Arsene Wenger says his Arsenal side suffered from nerves and were guilty of poor defending after their 2-0 loss to West Ham

Arsene Wenger said that Arsenal were guilty of “not respecting the basics” after watching his side slump to a surprise 2-0 defeat by West Ham United in their Premier League opener.

The Gunners headed into the new campaign with a sense of optimism after last Sunday’s Community Shield victory over Chelsea, but the Hammers had other ideas.

Summer signing Petr Cech misjudged Dimitri Payet’s free-kick to allow Cheikhou Kouyate to head home in the 43rd minute.

And Mauro Zarate caught Cech out again as he finished from 20 yards in the 57th minute after Arsenal failed to clear their lines.

Wenger had no choice but to throw Alexis Sanchez into the fray late on, but the Chilean was unable to inspire a Gunners comeback.

Speaking at his post-match news conference, Arsenal accused his side of sloppy defending and letting nerves get the better of them.

“We were punished for our defending,” said Wenger at The Emirates. “We gave two very cheap goals away and gave ourselves a mountain to climb.

“We were a bit nervous and we didn’t respect the basics. There were no individually convincing performances today.”

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Wenger called on his side to respond to the defeat as quickly as possible.

He added: “A successful season is how we respond to disappointment. We have to respond quickly because we have a tricky start.”

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