It may have ended in disappointment, but Arsène Wenger was encouraged by what he saw in the first half against Bayern Munich on Tuesday.

Theo Walcott gave us the lead, and also came close to doubling our advantage before the German side fought back after the restart.

The boss faced the press after the game and this is what he said:

on whether this is his most disappointing European night…
I don’t think so because we knew before the game that it would be difficult to qualify after the first leg. We wanted to at least go home and feel we dealt with the situation with pride and commitment. We did that. The fact that the end result will not highlight the quality of our performance is very disappointing.

on whether he will manage Arsenal again in the Champions League…
I don’t know. You’re always worried about headlines. I’m here to speak about football, not about my future.

on whether the uncertainty over his future is affecting his players…
Tonight there was no uncertainty in our game. I felt that we played very well and it was more the decisions of the referee which killed the game. It’s difficult because when it’s 1-1, you’re down to 10 men against Bayern and you have to score four goals, it’s irresponsible from the referee. We have to stand up and of course give all kinds of explanations but, at the end of the day, that is the reason for tonight’s result. That was not the case in the first game. We lost Koscielny in both games at the beginning of the second half.

on why Arsenal cannot compete with Bayern…
I think we can compete with Bayern Munich and we have shown that tonight in the first half. I believe the second half was a very difficult situation for us. Bayern are a good team and they do what they want in Germany, which we cannot do in England. Nobody can compete with them, they take the players they want and they are a bit lonely on the market. That’s not the case in England.

on what needs to change at Arsenal…
What needs to change at this club? What do you mean by that? I think this club is in great shape but we’re just going through a very difficult situation at the moment. What needs to change is the result in the next game.

on whether his players gave everything tonight…
It was difficult in the final 20 minutes because you have no hope of qualifying anymore. Bayern brought fresh players on and it was of course very difficult.

on how he picks them up after this…
We play in the quarter-final of the FA Cup on Saturday and we want to focus on that. We want to do our job properly and prepare well.

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7 Mar 2017