Arsenal and the word naÃ¯ve go hand in hand when it comes to the UEFA Champions League, and Wenger bemoaned the fact that his team, yet again, showed their propensity to make the wrong decisions on the big occasion.
Having kept Barcelona out pretty well for 70 minutes, Arsenal, emboldened by a slew of chances created, sprung forward like they were playing against Hull City in the FA Cup. But, they failed to make much of that springing-forward, with it allowing Barcelona to spring themselves on the counter-attack, with Neymar, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi exploiting the space in behind to such ruthless effect, that the only ever outcome was going to be a goal.
The Gunners would then go on to concede a second goal towards the end of the match, with Mathieu Flamini, after a poor pass from Per Mertesacker, bringing down Messi inside the box, allowing the Argentine wonder to step up and dispatch the penalty.
Wenger had stressed on the importance of not being stupid against this lethal Barcelona attack in his pre-match press conference, so, the manager was, understandably, frustrated after the match.
"We were naÃ¯ve," Wenger told reporters after the match. "I felt that we lost at the moment that we looked more capable of winning the game, and we also lost it in a way which we could not afford to give them.
"It's a bit disappointing to give them the goals that we did, especially the first goal. I feel that we were extremely guilty and have no excuses for that goal.
"We were disciplined defensively but we knew that if we had to keep it at 0-0, we would keep it at 0-0. They are better than us, everybody knows that, but I think we could've won the game tonight if we kept the discipline until the end. Once again, like against Monaco [last year, when Arsenal threw away the tie in the first leg at home], exactly the same thing happened. We were caught in exactly the same way."
What Wenger must take the blame for, though, is the fact that he has not been able to cut those mistakes out from his team. Time and again, that naivety comes to the fore, and the manager is as much to blame for that as the players.
With Arsenal challenging on the Premier League front this season, Wenger might think about resting a few of his big players for the second leg against Barcelona, considering the Frenchman himself admitted his team only have about a 5% chance of qualifying to the quarterfinals of the Champions League. Arsenal will need to score at least two goals to force this tie into extra time.
"When your players put in the energy that they have put in, it's very difficult to take because you want the players to be rewarded," Wenger added. "We were impatient in the build-up, we lost balls that we usually don't and that's not because Barcelona forced us to do it, but just because we were not precise enough in our passing.
"Barcelona are certainly through, 95%, but we want to go there and play. We are Arsenal Football Club and we will not go there to just have no chance. What we want is to focus on our next game. It's a shame that the players have not got any satisfaction, because energy-wise we put absolutely everything in."