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Liverpool and Arsenal set for showdown

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Arsene Wenger apologises for display

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger apologised to the Gunners faithful after his side slumped to a shock 3-1 defeat against Aston Villa on the opening day of the Premier League season.

Arsene Wenger can't bear to watch as Arsenal crash against Aston Villa.
Arsene Wenger struggles to watch his side's 3-1 defeat to Aston Villa.

• Mangan: Same old Arsenal

Jeers echoed around the Emirates Stadium as ten-man Arsenal lost their first game after a summer of transfer speculation that has so far failed to yield a major star signing.

However, Wenger insisted his first setback of the new campaign will not push him into panic buying.

“I want our fans to be happy and proud of their team and when we lost at home, I just have to be sorry,” Wenger told Sky Sports. “We didn’t manage to do it today, but we have to bounce back and make them happy in the next game.

“We are trying to buy players and if we find the right players we will do it. I am not the only one working on that [at this club]. It’s not my money, it’s the money of the club and we are ready to spend it on the right players. I also believe we could have won the match with the players we had on the pitch today, but it didn’t happen.”

Wenger went on to criticise the performance of the match officials after he saw his side reduced to ten men, following the sending off of Laurent Koscielny, as Arsenal lost at home on the opening day of the season for the first time in two decades.

“There were many incidents in the game that were disturbing,” he said, when asked about the performance of the match officials. “It’s not my job to comment on that and despite that, there was room to win the game and that is what we have to focus on.”

Elsewhere, Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere conceded his team’s performance “wasn’t good enough” and accepted they “have to win their home games” if they are to realise their ambitions this season.

Arsenal now face a tricky trip to Turkey for a Champions League play-off with Fenerbahce on Wednesday night, with the pressure already mounting on Wenger just one game into the new campaign.

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