Champions League: Failure 'a massive wake-up call' for the Premier League says Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger
Arsenal manager laments absence of English clubs in quarter-finals after 2-0 victory over Bayern Munich is still not enough to see his side progress
Arsene Wenger last night warned that the failure of all four of the English clubs competing in the Champions League to reach the quarter-finals of the competition, the first time it has happened in 17 years, was “a massive wake-up call” for the Premier League.
Wenger’s Arsenal team won 2-0 at the Allianz Arena, shocking Bayern Munich who suffered only their third defeat of their season but progressed to the last eight on away goals. Olivier Giroud scored after three minutes and Laurent Koscielny added a second with five minutes remaining but Wenger’s players could not score the third that would have taken them through 4-3 on aggregate.
Wenger said: “It’s a massive wake-up call for English football because for a long, long time we were not used to that [having no sides in the last eight}. If you think about it is a massive wake-up call for us [English football] ... it means that the rest of Europe has caught back up with us and we have to take that into consideration in the way we think about the future of the Premier League.”
Wenger said he was “proud” of his team’s performance. “I am, as well, very disappointed for everybody that follows Arsenal that we didn’t get the third goal. There was time to score and when you look at the game you have many regrets about the first game [a 3-1 Bayern victory at the Emirates].”
He added: “To qualify is 180 minutes and it is a bit similar to last year against Milan when we ‘missed’ the first 90 minutes and nearly got through in the second [leg] when we had our backs to the wall. Our regret tonight is that the first game at the Emirates. The weight of that third goal you saw [last night]. It was massive.
“We were under pressure. A bad performance [last night] would have been terrible for morale of the team and for pride as well. The regret that I have is that there is potential in this team and now, of course, we are out the competition.”
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Latest in Sport
Think before you ink: Manchester United fan gets Sir Alex Ferguson tattoo - and will regret it for the rest of his life
Mario Balotelli: Staff at arson-hit Manchester Dogs' Home convinced Liverpool striker is behind five-figure donation
Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal: Mesut Ozil given the worst rating possible by German newspaper Bild after poor performance
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
Paul Scholes column: Arsenal's Mesut Ozil is too good for Arsene Wenger to waste on the left wing
- 2 Scottish independence live: Scotland gives a clear 'No' in historic referendum - as it happened
- 3 iOS 8 is full of shiny new features - but it's terrible news for app developers
- 4 Friends 20th anniversary: Six things we wouldn't have without influential comedy series
- 5 Scottish independence: Tory revolt against 'devo max' grows as Rail Minister Claire Perry joins
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'