Wenger won't blame Almunia

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger refused to criticise goalkeeper Manuel Almunia following their shock 3-2 home defeat by West Brom.

West Brom raced into a 3-0 second half lead thanks to goals from Peter Odemwingie, Gonzalo Jara and former Gunner Jerome Thomas before two late goals from Samir Nasri gave Wenger's side hope.

"I don't think it was down to one player," said Wenger. "I think our level of focus on the job was not right."

Almunia gave away a first-half penalty but then saved Chris Brunt's spot-kick only to spill Jara's shot into the net in the 52nd minute.

Arsenal's goalkeeping weakness was the subject of much debate in the summer but Wenger chose to stick with Almunia.

And the Arsenal manager remained loyal to his keeper after his latest blunder cost the Gunners the chance to close the gap on leaders Chelsea in the Barclays Premier League.

Arsenal remain four points adrift of the Blues but Wenger was reluctant to put the blame on the luckless Almunia.

"I believe you can include all the defenders as well. They all made massive mistakes so it would not be right to blame one player more than any other.

"We came back, we didn't give up and that was the positive. We fought until the last second but we started too late and we have to learn from what happened.

"We cannot repeat that kind of performance."

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West Bromwich Albion
Jerome Thomas
Gonzalo Jara
Chris Brunt
Premier League
Manuel Almunia
Peter Odemwingie
Samir Nasri

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