Arsène Wenger admits his side’s New Year’s Day defeat at Southampton was “self-inflicted”.

The Gunners looked in control of the game until Sadio Mane took advantage of some defensive hesitancy to open the scoring for the hosts.

The Saints then profited from another error at the back to score again after the break, and it left the Arsenal manager to rue what might have been.

We did not defend well enough in the final third, and we paid a heavy price for it today

Arsène Wenger

“We put a lot of energy into the game and we were quite in control, but it is a self-inflicted defeat,” Wenger told Arsenal Player.

“We were [dominant when Southampton scored], but we couldn’t take our chances. On top of that, we not only couldn’t take them but we gave them chances and that is too much at our level.

“It is not the first time it has happened. We did not defend well enough in the final third, and we paid a heavy price for it today.

“I am disappointed because there was at least a draw in the game, and if we were better defensively we could have won it. We have given a lot, I cannot fault the attitude of the team but we were again haunted by the ghost of what we seen since the start of the season.”

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Rob Kelly 1 Jan 2015