Did Arsenal deserve to go out? Arsene Wenger and Per Mertesacker don't agree

Conflicting views on whether the Gunners deserved to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League

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The Independent Football

Arsenal were agonisingly eliminated from the Champions League last night, despite a gutsy 2-0 win over Monaco.

Having lost the first-leg of the tie at the Emirates 3-1, the Gunners went out on away goals. The result means they've now fallen at the Round of 16 stage five seasons in a row, losing to Bayern Munich twice, Barcelona and AC Milan in the previous years.

However the latest will be perhaps the hardest to take with Arsenal widely expected to advance against a team sitting fourth in Ligue 1 and shorn of former stars James Rodriguez and Radamel Falcao over the summer.

In the aftermath of defeat, there were conflicting views on whether Arsenal deserved to be eliminated with manager Arsene Wenger viewing it differently to his players.

When Wenger was asked if his team should be out, he replied: "I don't believe so.

"If you look at the number of shots on target they had you will be surprised. Every defeat hurts but we didn't lose."


In contrast Per Mertesacker and other team-mates felt Arsenal didn't deserve to have their name in Friday's draw for the quarter-finals.

"The best team went through. Monaco deserved it because they played much better in the first leg," said the World Cup winner.

"We came here and tried absolutely everything. We could have scored more than two. We regret the first game."

Aaron Ramsey, who came off the bench to score Arsenal's second goal, agreed.

“We've always gone out to Bayern Munich and Barcelona at this stage but no disrespect to Monaco, we thought we'd have a good opportunity to qualify.

“But we gave ourselves a tough test from the first leg. It's nearly again, but it's not enough."