Search

Arsenal boss accepts his side are unlikely to catch Dortmund after Anderlecht setback

23:16 04 November 2014

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger looks unimpressed by his side's defensive display against Anderlecht

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger looks unimpressed by his side's defensive display against Anderlecht

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Arsene Wenger has acknowledged that his side’s hopes of topping the Champions League group are all but extinguished following their 3-3 draw with Anderlecht.

Arsenal led the Belgian champions 3-0 with half an hour remaining at the Emirates on Tuesday, but had to settle for a point after conceding three goals, including a last-minute equaliser.

That leaves the Gunners five points behind Group D leaders Borussia Dortmund, who will be their next European opponents at the end of this month.

But Wenger admits they have little hope of catching their German rivals and will have to concentrate on securing the point they still need to seal qualification for the knockout stage.

“Maybe [before] there was still a good chance for winning the group,” said the Frenchman. “Now that’s almost impossible.

“You have to give Anderlecht credit – they were fighting until the end. We had a poor defensive performance from the first to the last minute and we got punished.

“Defensively across the pitch we were very poor. I think we dropped off too much and didn’t go into the challenges, we didn’t stop the crosses and in the second half it was bad defending more than being outnumbered.

“Maybe we underestimated Anderlecht subconsciously. After 60 minutes, at 3-0 up, you can think the game’s won – but it’s the Champions League and you have to be at the right level mentally.”

Captain Mikel Arteta put the Gunners in front with a questionable penalty midway through the first half, after the referee ruled that Danny Welbeck had been fouled by Chancel Mbemba.

Alexis Sanchez volleyed the second goal five minutes later and Arsenal seemed to be cruising towards a guaranteed top-two place when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain made it 3-0 early in the second half.

But Anthony Vanden Borre escaped an offside flag to pull a goal back just before Arteta limped off with a hamstring injury, and then made it 3-2 with the second dubious penalty of the night when Andy Najar went down under Nacho Monreal’s challenge.

And, with the Gunners defence growing ever more nervous, Anderlecht snatched a point in the last minute when substitute Aleksandar Mitrovic headed in Najar’s cross.

Wenger added: “When we lost Arteta we lost big – he was one of the few defending well and that didn’t help. I don’t know how long he will be out for.

“The first goal was offside clearly, but defensively our performance was not good enough. It’s very disappointing but overall in the two games [against Anderlecht] we got four points.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Islington Sports News

Yesterday, 12:30

Holloway and Haverstock schools will share the Islington Gazette Schools’ Cup after contesting a 1-1 draw in one of the last games to be played at Upton Park.

Yesterday, 10:30

Stevie Eskinazi admits it may be hard to top the satisfaction of helping Middlesex to County Championship glory in the rest of his career.

Wed, 17:05

While most cricket fans inside Lord’s and beyond were entranced by the exciting spectacle that unfolded on Friday, there were also some voicing outrage.

Wed, 16:43

Amy Broadhurst claimed her first gold medal since joining Islington BC as she triumphed at the Celtic Box Cup tournament in her native Ireland.

Wed, 16:35

Goals from Sebastian Martinez and Ibrahima Sanchez earned London United a 2-0 victory over Shakespeare in their Hackney & Leyton Premier Division clash.

Mon, 13:03

With the Gunners’ previous league win against Chelsea coming nearly five years earlier, the omens did not look good ahead of Saturday’s London derby.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Middlesex hat-trick hero Toby Roland-Jones says the squad were always confident in their ability to become county champions this year.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Middlesex dethroned Yorkshire in a thrilling finish at Lord’s to win their first County Championship title since 1993.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

As we grow older it becomes more and more important to have means to travel about safely and quickly. Our friendship groups and families grow and the need to have a car that is not only safe but also fast and big enough for all our needs is ever more important. There are many cars on the market for such needs but none deals with them as efficiently or as neatly as a VW Golf Estate. These cars are build strong, long lasting and spacious for a reason. They cater to the needs of many and are some of the most popular cars currently on the market.

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