Wenger: 'It was a shocking performance'

 

San Siro

Arsène Wenger launched a scathing attack on his own players last night describing their performance in the 4-0 defeat to Milan as "shocking" and the worst he had seen in Europe before raising the white flag and admitting that Arsenal had "realistically" no chance to salvage the tie.

The Arsenal manager departed from his usual tactic of defending his players to react with disbelief to the defeat inflicted on his team by Milan, who come to the Emirates on 6 March for the second leg. He also said that Laurent Koscielny, who came off in the first half last night ,has a knee injury which could compound Arsenal's defensive worries,

Wenger said: "The pitch was a disaster, but our performance was at the level of the pitch. It was a shocking result and a shocking performance. It's a night never to forget. It was our worst night in Europe. We made mistake after mistake and were punished, and deservedly so.

"We were never in the game. We were very poor offensively and defensively. It was shocking to see. It's our worst performances in Europe by far. Not one moment in the 90 minutes were we really in the game.

"We had to chase the game and open our game up and we were caught by balls over the top. It's difficult to analyse. It's better not to talk too much, to analyse with a cooler head and regroup for the next game.

"We will focus on our next games. It's a disaster, but the season is not finished. We have a very big game on Saturday [against Sunderland in the FA Cup fifth round] and it's a good opportunity to show we have the mental strength and character to respond after such a shocking defeat."

Asked whether Arsenal had a chance of salvaging the tie in three weeks' time, Wenger said: "Let's be realistic. We don't play in a dream-world. There may be two per cent or five per cent chance statistically, but realistically we're out of this competition."

Arsenal had more of the possession on Uefa statistics, 53 per cent, completed more passes and covered a greater amount of distance cumulatively, but they created precious few chances. Asked if his players had let him down, Wenger said: "They did not let me down. We let our ambitions down as a unit. We have to stick together and win our next game. The players are very ambitions in the Champions League and will be very sad. We felt powerless to get into the game."

The ITV pundit Roy Keane was equally scathing about Arsenal. He said: "You're looking at Arsenal and thinking 'Where is that desire or hunger to get back?' When Robinho scores with his head you must be in trouble. I don't think he's scored many headers in his career.

"But Milan deserved it. Arsenal didn't get out of the dressing room, they just didn't get started. We watch them every week playing with pace and confidence and it just wasn't happening. They've not turned up. Credit to Milan, they dominated in the midfield."

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

What exactly does 'one' mean?

Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue
E L James's book Grey is a reminder of how the phenomenon of the best-seller works

Grey is a reminder of how the phenomenon of the best-seller works

It's hard to understand why so many are buying it – but then best-selling was ever an inexact science, says DJ Taylor
Behind the scenes of the world's most experimental science labs

World's most experimental science labs

The photographer Daniel Stier has spent four years gaining access to some of the world's most curious scientific experiments
It's the stroke of champions - so why is the single-handed backhand on the way out?

Single-handed backhand: on the way out?

If today's young guns wish to elevate themselves to the heights of Sampras, Graf and Federer, it's time to fire up the most thrilling shot in tennis
HMS Saracen: Meeting the last survivor of a submarine found 72 years after it was scuttled

HMS Saracen

Meeting the last survivor of a submarine found 72 years after it was scuttled
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Martine Wright lost both legs in the attack – she explains how her experience since shows 'anything is possible'

7/7 bombings 10 years on

Martine Wright lost both legs in the attack – she explains how her experience since shows 'anything is possible'