Football

Wenger: Welbeck needs time

Arsene Wenger insists Danny Welbeck needs time to settle at Arsenal after the England striker was wasteful against Borussia Dortmund yesterday morning (Singapore time).

The Gunners opened their Champions League Group D campaign with a deflating 2-0 defeat after Ciro Immobile and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struck goals at Signal Iduna Park.

Three days after missing a guilt-edged chance against Manchester City's Joe Hart, Welbeck failed to covert a one-on-one with another goalkeeper.

This time Roman Weidenfeller was the beneficiary of his wayward finishing, and crucially the chance came four minutes before Immobile's opener.

Welbeck's record in front of goal has been criticised, but Wenger defended his £16 million ($33m) capture from Manchester United.

"Danny will improve, I don't think we have to make a problem of that," Wenger said.

"He had a very lively first half. He had two or three good chances but couldn't finish them.

"There was one obvious one. We have to be patient with him.

"The paradox of the night is that we had very good chances to score first, but they then scored from counter-attacks."

Wenger was scathing of the performance and admits his players had under-performed across the pitch.

"(For the first goal) we lost the ball at the throw-in but it was still three against Immobile at the back," he said.

"It's still difficult to understand how we concede the goal. There were still enough people to stop the goal.

"Dortmund were very strong in midfield. They were stronger than us in midfield.

"But it's very difficult on the night to go into any individual assessment of any player because as a team we were not at the requested level.

"It was a difficult night. Dortmund were the better team. Our performance was disappointing."

Meanwhile, Dortmund boss Juergen Klopp praised his team, saying he wouldn't want to face his side.

"We wanted to be a pressing machine and a counter-pressing machine, and we did it," said the German.

"Our opponents must have been impressed by this. I would not have liked to be playing against us tonight.

"Our pace, the spaces we used, it was just very difficult to defend against us.

"When you gain possession and with one contact the ball goes forward and then there is already someone there to take it even further, it is just too difficult to defend." - Wire Services.

Champions League