Arsenal's Arsene Wenger: Finishing must improve against Barcelona
LONDON -- Arsene Wenger says Arsenal must be much sharper in their finishing against Barcelona than they were against Hull if they are to have a chance in Tuesday's Champions League clash.
Wenger made nine changes to his team and saw the likes of Theo Walcott, Danny Welbeck, Joel Campbell and Alex Iwobi miss chances even though Arsenal dominated possession throughout the game.
"We need to be more efficient in the final third, because today we had over 70 percent possession. We will not have that on Tuesday night," Wenger said. "That means we'll have to be much more efficient while having much less of the ball."
Arsenal face Barcelona at the Emirates on Tuesday in the first leg of their round-of-16 matchup, which was one of the reasons Wenger rested many of his key players against Hull.
Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey and Petr Cech were given the day off, while Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud came on for the last 25 minutes.
Wenger said Ozil had a cold this week but that it is "nothing major" and the Germany playmaker should be fine for the Barcelona game.
Wenger added on BT Sport: "[We picked up] no new injuries, so it looks quite good. On that front it looks quite good."
He also insisted that the team he put out was good enough to win the game, but pointed to the performance of Hull goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic as well as his own players' approach for the failure to score.
"They defended well, their keeper played well, and our final ball was maybe not good enough," Wenger said. "And because we couldn't keep the ball in the final third we went for an individual solution."
Wenger is well aware that European champions Barca pose a much tougher test than Hull, who also fielded a second-string side.
"We were the favourites today. We will not be on Tuesday night," Wenger said. "So on Tuesday night we will need great solidarity, because we need to defend well, we know all that, and make the maximum of our possession, which we didn't do today."
Wenger cut his postmatch news conference short due to Barca's La Liga game at Las Palmas, which kicked off shortly after the end of the Arsenal game, saying: "I want to watch them."
Mattias is ESPN FC's Arsenal correspondent. Follow him @MattiasKaren.