Search

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger after FK Ostersunds defeat: We were not at the races – we were complacent and not focused

PUBLISHED: 22:56 22 February 2018 | UPDATED: 23:09 22 February 2018

Ostersund fans before the Europa League match between Arsenal vs Ostersunds FK at the Emirates Stadium. Picture: Danny Loo

Ostersund fans before the Europa League match between Arsenal vs Ostersunds FK at the Emirates Stadium. Picture: Danny Loo

Danny Loo Photography 2018

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was perplexed by his side’s poor performance against FK Ostersunds during their 2-1 home defeat in the Europa League at the Emirates on Thursday evening.

Ostersund fans before the Europa League match between Arsenal vs Ostersunds FK at the Emirates Stadium. Picture: Danny LooOstersund fans before the Europa League match between Arsenal vs Ostersunds FK at the Emirates Stadium. Picture: Danny Loo

The Gunners may have progressed 4-2 on aggregate after winning 3-0 in Sweden in the first leg last week but Graham Potter’s impressive side narrowly failed to create one of the biggest shocks in European football history after their victory.

Englishman Potter’s courageous Scandinavians gave the Gunners the shock of their lives after going 2-0 up in North London through an own goal from Calum Chambers on 22 minutes followed by a second by Ken Sema 60 seconds later.

The home side calmed frayed nerves after pulling a goal back through Sead Kolasinac just after half-time to see them through – but it was Potters braves that won the plaudits on a cold night.

Speaking after the match Wenger admitted: “We were not at the races in the first half. We were complacent and not focused.

Ostersund fans before the Europa League match between Arsenal vs Ostersunds FK at the Emirates Stadium. Picture: Danny LooOstersund fans before the Europa League match between Arsenal vs Ostersunds FK at the Emirates Stadium. Picture: Danny Loo

“We prepared properly and in a serious way but the fact we won 3-0 and have another big game in Sunday [had an influence]...we played against a good side.

“You have seen many upsets like that in the FA Cup. It is better not to talk too much tonight and focus on Sunday.”

When he was asked what Pep Guardiola and Manchester City would make of the result and performance he replied testily: “You should ask them.”

Ostersund boss Potter was magnanimous in defeat after the match and was full of praise for his men as well as Arsenal.

Sead Kolasinac is tackled by Sotirios Papagiannopoulos in the Europa League match between Arsenal vs Ostersunds FK at the Emirates Stadium. Picture: Danny LooSead Kolasinac is tackled by Sotirios Papagiannopoulos in the Europa League match between Arsenal vs Ostersunds FK at the Emirates Stadium. Picture: Danny Loo

Putting his disappointment to one side he said: “Arsenal is a top team and a top club but we can look back on this tie with pride.

“For a club of our size and stature to complete with a club of this size is great. Arsenal punished us in the first leg but I am so proud overall.

“As an English guy I want Arsenal to do well.

“I’m incredibly proud of the performance. The manner of our performance, the courage of our players...I congratulate Arsenal and hope they go on to win the tournament but I have a great pride in my team.

Sead Kolasinac goes up for a corner in the Europa League match between Arsenal vs Ostersunds FK at the Emirates Stadium. Picture: Danny LooSead Kolasinac goes up for a corner in the Europa League match between Arsenal vs Ostersunds FK at the Emirates Stadium. Picture: Danny Loo

“To come to Arsenal and take a 2-0 lead is not easy. I congratulate Arsenal for going through. The team they picked was respectful of us. They played a strong team in both games.

“Arsene Wenger said to me afterwards ‘good game’ and I wished him well in the next round.”

Latest Islington Sports News

Yesterday, 12:59

Emile Smith-Rowe has been speaking exclusively to the Islington Gazette newspaper after he made his Arsenal debut at the Emirates against Vorskla Poltava in the Europa League on Thursday. Read on for what he told Layth Yousif.

Fri, 18:11

Middlesex captain Dawid Malan was pleased to see his side complete their 117-run win over Derbyshire at Lord’s on Friday.

Fri, 16:26

Tim Murtagh finished with 4-55 as Middlesex ran through the Derbyshire batting to secure a 117-run victory in their final home County Championship match of the season at Lord’s.

Fri, 15:49

Arsenal boss Unai Emery wants to draw fans back to the Emirates for Europa League matches after a low turnout for the Gunners’ 4-2 victory over FC Vorskla Poltava.

Fri, 15:03

Arsenal boss Unai Emery has hailed midfielder Lucas Torreira after the Gunners’ 4-2 Europa League victory over FC Vorskla Poltava.

Fri, 12:23

Bernd Leno has been speaking to the Islington Gazette after making his debut in the Europa League against Vorskla Poltava at the Emirates on Thursday evening.

Fri, 10:00

Finsbury Park will bid to continue their perfect start to the new Herts/Middlesex One season when they travel away to play UCS Old Boys on Saturday.

Arsenal boss Unai Emery has been left frustrated after the Gunners conceded two late goals in his sides 4-2 victory over FC Vorskla Poltava.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Fostering older teenagers means giving them the skills for life as an adult. Here, a supportive lodgings carer with Islington Council and young adult who has left care share their stories

Newsletter Sign Up

Islington Gazette twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read sport

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now