Arsene Wenger spoke to the media after Arsenal’s 3-3 draw with Anderlecht. You can read a full transcript of what he had to say below:
on conceding a three-goal lead…You have to give them [Anderlecht] credit because the fought until the end and we had a poor defensive performance from the first to the last minute today. We never felt comfortable and somewhere we got punished because of bad luck. The first goal was offside but defensively our performance was not good enough to do it. Secondly at 3-0 we thought the job was done and it was a combination of switching off and fatigue as well. You could see we couldn't win the challenges and they finished stronger and sharper - we got punished. It's very disappointing but overall over the two games we got four points. I think we are well paid for our two performances.
on what he puts the defensive problems down to…I think when we lost Mikel Arteta we lost out because he was one of the few who defended well. That didn't help. Apart from that maybe we underestimated subconsciously Anderlecht and got punished. In the Champions League you need to be at the mental level or you get punished and certainly we were not.
on reminding his team about Anderlecht's threats…What I say in the dressing room stays in the dressing room.
on if he underestimated Anderlecht twice…I know people in life that have underestimated 100 times. I just think it can happen again. I don't know if you have played football, but at 3-0 up after 60 minutes, subconsciously you can think that the game is won.
on telling his team not to underestimate Anderlecht…I think Anderlecht is a good team. Maybe we'll see in four or five years that this team was full of good players and they are much better than everybody thinks they are. Even in the first half, they had three or four good chances. We were a bit lucky but overall they are a good side.
on which Anderlecht player impressed him the most…Plenty.
on if it was Dennis Praet…He played well, but he was not the only one.
on Alexis Sanchez…He was one of the very few who was at his level. He was involved in the three goals. He was one of the two or three players who were at their level.
on Alexis being frustrated…It's the first time that we've given a three-goal lead away [since he's been here]. We need everybody to step up. You want everybody to perform at their best. I believe defensively as a performance across the pitch, we were very, very poor tonight.
on whether he will strengthen defence in January…Honestly it’s not the worry tonight. We just came out of two clean sheets and maybe thought we had got the job done at 3-0. The target is to go to Swansea with another [good] defensive performance. I also believe the luck we have is that we still have a good chance of qualifying. If we had lost tonight, what could have happened, would have been a very bad situation for the qualification. For winning the group, tonight you can say that’s nearly impossible now.
on conceding more than three goals in games last season…You speak of history, we speak of tonight. It was a different season and a different team. Last season we made 79 points and I don’t see what it has to do with tonight.
on a poor defensive performance…It was a poor defensive performance tonight.
on Arteta…He has done a hamstring. I don’t know what is wrong or how long he will be out for.
on whether they were too open in the last 30 minutes…We dropped off too much and didn’t go into the challenges any more. Then you’re always open. We stopped winning the challenges and we dropped off and off and off. We were always open and we didn’t stop the crosses, we didn’t stop the long balls and I don’t especially think we were outnumbered. In the first half it happened, in the second half it was bad defending more than being outnumbered.
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