Wenger fumes at “suicidal” Arsenal defending in shock Champions League defeat

first_img Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez reacts during the Gunners’ 3-1 Champions League to Monaco 1 Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger hit out at the “weak mentality” and “suicidal defending” of his side as a 3-1 home defeat to Monaco left them on the brink of elimination from the Champions League.The French side were viewed as one of the easiest opponents left in the competition but proved anything but, as Arsenal failed to get out of first gear at the Emirates Stadium.They gave midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia acres of space as his 25-yard deflected effort put Monaco ahead in the first-half, while they were taken apaprt at the back against after the break as former Tottenham striker Dimitar Berbatov crashed in a second.Substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, returning from a groin injury, grabbed Arsenal a lifeline in stoppage-time, but as the Gunners naively went in search of an equaliser, they were dealt a hammer blow on the break again as Yannick Ferreira-Carrassco slotted past David Ospina as the boos rang out from the home faithful.And Wenger was left exasperated by his team’s dreadful display.“Congratulations to Monaco, they had a perfect result and played the game they wanted to play,” the boss said.“On our side, I believe that we missed the chances and we were a bit suicidal defensively.“We were not at the level defensively and we were a bit unlucky as well because the first goal is deflected. On the second and the third goal we were suicidal.“We had the luck to come back to 2-1, but not the right to give away a goal the way we did because that makes our task extremely difficult in the second leg.“It looks like we have lost our nerve and our rationality on the pitch. The heart took over the head and at that level it doesn’t work.“Our weakness was more down to mentality. We rushed our game, we knew coming back at half-time it was important not to concede a second goal and we were too impatient.”Wenger added: “Mentally we were not ready or sharp enough to get into this game. We paid for it.“Monaco are a team who are strong physically with a good physical density and we missed the chances. If you look at the number of chances we missed, at that level you cannot afford that.“We used our hearts more than our brains.“The players wanted to do well and come back when it was 2-1. They wanted to come back to 2-2 and forgot their elementary cautiousness.”Arsenal must now score three goals at the Stade Louis II in Monte Carlo next month, against a team which before this tie had conceded just twice in 17 matches.“We have a smaller chance, but no matter how big the chance is we will go for it,” Wenger added.“We need to recover from this disappointment and prepare for the next game [against Everton on Sunday].”last_img read more

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