Arsenal vs PSG: Arsene Wenger insists there is 'no reason to panic' despite loss of form

The Gunners are now '90 per cent' certain of finishing runners-up in their Champions League group once again, admits the Frenchman

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The Independent Football

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admitted on Wednesday night that his side had lost their winning habit after surrendering a lead against Paris Saint-Germain to record a third successive draw in 17 days but said there was “no reason to panic.”

Wenger, who says his side now have a “90 per cent chance” of finishing second in their group and face a tougher round of 16 tie, insisted they had done well in their group stage by not losing a game. But he admitted Arsenal – who were second best to the French club – had failed to maintain pressure in the game.

Wenger said: “We have not lost, but we have lost a winning momentum, yes, a little bit. I believe I have to be careful on the choice of my words. I say 'stuttering' and it comes back at me… We are unbeaten in 18 games. Sometimes you go through spells when you win a bit less. But we have to continue without losing and transform draws into wins. But there's no reason to panic.”

Of the display against the French, he said: “We let PSG play too comfortably in the opening period. We had a very strong start in the second half and were dominant, but then we dropped off. We didn't maintain the pressure and paid for that.”

Though a succession of second place finishes have led to Arsenal being eliminated in the round of 16 for the past five years, there are no guarantees that topping the table will create an easier first knock-out game. Bayern Munich and Real Madrid both currently lie second and could be opponents for a tem who top their group.

“We've not lost a game in this group,” said Wenger, whose side now need a better result from a challenging trip to Basel two weeks from now than PSG secure from a regulation home tie with Ludogorets Razgrad.

“Overall we've done the job well. Will we be lucky enough to finish first, I don't know, and we'd have to wait for the draw. You can't guess whether it's good or bad. The advantage if you finish first is to play the second game at home. What is more disappointing is we wanted to win the game, and we didn't.

“We didn't create enough opportunities tonight. In the final part of the game, when we wanted absolutely to win [there were opportunities for Edinson Cavani.] When you're 2-1 up and score an own goal, you're entitled to think you could have won the game. Maybe 2-2 is the fair result, overall. If you look at the number of chances we created, I'd concede it was a fair result.”

Of a clash between Cavani and Ramsey on the stroke of half time, in which the striker raised a hand at the Welshman, Wenger said: “I think it was not too much. Not necessarily, no.”