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Wenger rips shaky Arsenal defense
AFP, January 16th, 2012 3:33PM
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Thierry Henry's first English Premier League game in five years turned into a nightmare as Arsenal fell to Swansea City, 3-2, leaving the Gunners in fifth place, four points behind Chelsea and 10 behind third-place Tottenham, putting them in danger of missing out on next season's lucrative Champions League.

Manager Arsene Wengerpraised Henry but blasted the sloppy work of his defense. "When he comes on the pitch, he gives us a lift," Wenger said of Henry, who is on a short-term loan from MLS's New York Red Bulls. "He was dangerous again when he came on."

The play of the Gunners' backline, in particular German center back Per Mertesacker, left something to be desired, though.

"I felt that there were some odd turning points, like when we went to 2-2 we straightaway made a defensive mistake," said Wenger. "It was similar for me to the Fulham match, a lack of appreciation of the ball. Our defensive performance was not good enough and that is why we lost the game."

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