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Arsène Wenger breaks character, admits Arsenal were 'average' and 'naive'

We're not used to hearing Wenger talk like this.

Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

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Arsène Wenger is notorious for defending his players, blaming referees and always insisting that his team played the better soccer. After Tuesday's loss to Barcelona, he sang a different tune.

"Technically we were very average. We were naive and that's what was frustrating. It makes it very sticky, if not impossible. We have to go there and fight. They were better than us. There's no shame to say that."

It's extremely rare to hear Wenger talk like that. Arsenal fans will be hoping he's making a decision to try a different motivational tactic, rather than losing his cool.

Goal of the day

Clint Dempsey's free kick against Club América. (r/soccer)

In the news

FIFA presidential candidate Sheikh Salman doesn't want any PR stunt arrests on Friday. (AP)

Oh hey look, a new report about shady things Salman is accused of doing. (Guardian)

Sepp Blatter still thinks America is just salty about losing the 2022 World Cup. (ESPN FC)

Valencia got bounced from the UEFA Youth League because this made penalty was called a miss.

Unsurprisingly, they're protesting. (BBC)

Roger Schmidt has been banned five games (two suspended) and fined for refusing to leave the pitch after a red card this weekend. (DFB)

Wolfsburg have extended Max Arnold's deal, so sorry if you wanted your team to sign him. (Bundesliga)

You should be reading

Joe Devine on technology and medicine altering the future of soccer. (The Set Pieces)

Patrick Boyland on the rise of SD Eibar. (These Football Times)

David Squires' comic on the FIFA election. (Guardian)

What happened on Tuesday

Arsenal did OK for a while and then Lionel Messi happened.

Juventus came back to draw Bayern, but gave up two away goals.

Clint Dempsey was great, but América got the upper hand on Seattle. (Sounder at Heart)

D.C. United couldn't get an away goal in a loss to Querétaro. (Black and Red United)

What to watch on Wednesday (click for listings, all times ET)

Europa League: Braga vs. Sion (12 p.m.) -- If you're excruciatingly bored.

Champions League: 2 games (2:45 p.m.) -- Honestly, this feels like Diet Champions League.

CCL: 2 games (from 8 p.m.) -- Get ready for more crippling disappointment for MLS!


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