Monday 26 September 2016

‘It’s difficult, not impossible’ - Arsene Wenger remains defiant but rues ‘naïve’ defending

Published 23/02/2016 | 22:43

Arsenal's Mesut Ozil swaps shirts with Barcelona's Javier Mascherano after the game
Arsenal's Mesut Ozil swaps shirts with Barcelona's Javier Mascherano after the game

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admits progress to the Champions league quarter-finals is difficult after the 2-0 defeat to Barcelona where he lamented a poor defensive showing in the final 2o minutes.

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The Gunners looked to be heading for a creditable goalless draw in the tonight’s first-leg at the Emirates, but a brace from Leo Messi in the final 20 minutes, including a penalty six minutes from time, sees the Premier League side with a mountain to climb in order to progress.

“Barcelona is a great team, we knew that. Nothing new,” he said afterwards.

“We put a lot of energy in the game. Technically we were very average. Once we look like we dominated the game in the last 20 minutes we gave the goal away, Similar to Monaco. Very naive.

“Two goals makes it realistically very difficult if not impossible. We will have to go out there and fight. There was room to score but we didn't. And they are lethal. One thing we could not afford - and we knew before the game - was to let them counterattack. In their transitions they never make a bad pass.

“They are better than us, no shame in that, they are world champions, European champions. [Out there] It's 95 for them, five for us but we have to give it a go.”

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