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Feb 19, 2014

Wenger questions Ozil's penalty style

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger questioned the penalty style adopted by his German midfielder Mesut Ozil, after he missed a crucial spot kick in Arsenal's 2-0 home defeat to Bayern Munich.

Manuel Neuer saves Mesut Ozil's penalty kick.
Manuel Neuer saves Mesut Ozil's penalty kick.

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Ozil’s relaxed approach to his eighth-minute attempt allowed his German international colleague Manuel Neuer to palm away with relative ease, and Wenger admitted he is not a fan of the slow-paced approach adopted by his 42.4 million-pound club-record buy.

"I prefer that people run properly at the ball," Wenger told Sky Sports when asked about of Ozil’s penalty technique. "Look, everyone has their own style and you have to respect that there is not one way of penalty taking. He feels comfortable like that, it’s his style."

A dignified Wenger was gracious after defeat, as he suggested the football fates were against his side on a night when they were matching Bayern before a red card for keeper Wojciech Szczesny seven minutes before half-time.

The Arsenal boss had few complaints about the award as Szczesny tripped Arjen Robben in the box in the defining incident of the match, but he suggested a red card was a harsh sentence.

"If there is contact I think it’s a penalty, but was it a red card? I dispute that many times," he stated. "These are the rules, so we have to accept it.

"It was a night when everything went against us because we could have been 3-0 up before they got a sniff in the game. We made big mistakes, but the spirit was absolutely fantastic.

"The penalty we missed killed the crowd and the positive vibes. Then we are down to ten men, one player injured, you have no possibility to change. Overall, it was a very difficult night, but also a night when the team has shown some quality and class, but in the end we lose the game.

"Bayern are good and we had more problems after we went down to ten men.  Robben has given problems to many teams and he is a top class player. What we will do is go there and have a go in the second leg. You never know what can happen."

Meanwhile, Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker offered an upbeat view of the Gunners' hopes, as he reflected on last year’s 2-0 win in the Allianz Arena as a source of inspiration.

"We won there last year, so why can we not repeat that?" asked the German defender. "Bayern are a fantastic team and they play possession very well, but overall we have to take that defeat to Munich and mentally we are stronger than last year.

"There are a lot of ifs and buts [after this game], but we have to take the result now. It is a bit of a blow for us, but Bayern underestimated us last year, so why not again?"

Wenger said the Gunners travel to the Allianz Arena facing a gargantuan task, but he would not dismiss his side's hopes.

"It isn't over because we will fight until the end," Wenger said.

Information from Press Association was used in this report.

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