Wenger insists Arsenal match Bayern Munich toe to toe despite exit
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger insists his side matched the current Champions League winners Bayern Munich toe to toe in the 1-1 draw at Allianz Arena on Tuesday. Despite the draw the Gunners got kicked out of the Champions League due to a 3-1 aggregate because of a first-leg 2-0 defeat the Emirates Stadium.
After seeing his sides Champions League hopes extinguished by Bayern Munich for a second successive year, Wenger was not in a good mood after the game. The French boss praised his men for delivering a commendable performance. Wenger also said that he side were close to grabbing another goal in second half of the table, something that would have certainly given the German football giants a run for the trophy.
Wenger was satisfied with the performance of his team and insisted that the decision to red card goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny in the first-leg proved to be a big setback for Arsenal. Wenger insisted that Szczesny’s red card was the leading reason for Bayern Munich’s qualification to the quarterfinals of the Champions League.
“I believe that over the two legs, quality-wise and spirit wise we were absolutely at the level requested,” Wenger said. “The final ball was not always there, but overall you can see the impact of the sending off in the first leg had a huge impact. That is the regret we had.
“Bayern is a good team, we played with 10 men and we conceded a goal in the final minute trying to equalize. I think we have shown that we had the quality to knock them out over the two legs.”
Wenger suggested that there was “no gap” between Arsenal and Bayern Munich since the Gunners were 1-1 on the road to the Champions League winners. The Frenchman admitted there were quite a few disappointments over the two legs and that Arsenal most certainly had the capability to knock Bayern Munich out of the competition.
Wenger reserved special praise for Arsenal’s defense. The Frenchman acknowledged the fact that his defenders managed to keep most of Bayern Munich’s attacks at bay. Wenger also revealed that his side wasn’t able to fully capitalize of Bayern Munich’s weak defense. Wenger feels Arsenal could have scored a goal or two towards the latter stage of the game, where Bayern Munich were starting to make mistakes.