Saturday 26 May 2018

'The suffering is very strong tonight'

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. Photo: REUTERS
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. Photo: REUTERS

Arsene Wenger described his final match in European competition as a "cruel" result after an impressive performance from his Arsenal team wasn't enough to overcome Atletico Madrid in last night's Europa League semi-final second leg.

Despite losing the game 1-0 on the night, the Arsenal boss also highlighted the "stupid" goal they conceded in last week's 1-1 draw in the home leg as their undoing.

"Our performance was very good," the Frenchman said. "The dangerous situations were there but in the two boxes we missed something. We feel over the two games it was enough to go through.

"We were 1-0 up at home and conceded a stupid goal, and tonight, with one minute to go to half-time, we conceded on the counter-attack. These are vital moments in a game of that stature.

"Diego Costa is Diego Costa, and that's why he is one of the best strikers in the world.

"It's very sad, I'm very sad tonight. Unfortunately you have to go through that. The game can be very cruel. The suffering is very strong tonight."

To add to Arsenal's woe, Laurent Koscielny looks set to miss the World Cup after suffering a suspected ruptured Achilles during the game.

The 32-year-old lost his footing while moving towards Diego Costa off the ball and was in obvious distress as he clutched his lower leg.

"It's not good," Wenger said. "It looks (like) an Achilles rupture. Maybe we'll have good news but the first signs are not very good."

Meanwhile, former Gunners defender Martin Keown was highly critical of Mesut Ozil's display, saying the German World Cup winner was not fit to wear the Arsenal shirt.

"He wasn't fit to wear the shirt for me tonight and I have seen this a lot this season and it needs to be said. He needs to be dug out because we expect better from him." he said.

Irish Independent

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