The key reasons for our European exit

Having had a few days to analyse our Champions League exit, Arsene Wenger has been able to make a considered assessment of our second-leg performance.

While the final scoreline was ultimately disappointing, the Arsenal manager feels that his side’s first-half performance merits some credit.

“It is easy for me to assess the game now because we watched it again, analysed it and have all the information available,” the Arsenal manager said. “Overall, as long as we were 11 against 11, we produced a top-level performance but after that it became impossible for us to have a chance to qualify.

“I think at the start of the game everybody said we had a one per cent chance [of turning it around], during the game we pushed it up to 30 per cent and after Koscielny was sent off it came down to zero, which is understandable.

“The questions it raises are [why] we failed in the second half of the first leg. In the second game, we had good moments and were a bit unlucky with the decisions of the referee. That will not be a decider.

“We have seen [during the Barcelona v PSG game] that at that level it can be very quick. A game can go one way or the other. That fightback showed the importance of two main factors in these games: the referee and very big players. That sums it up.

“I looked a little bit at Champions League history,” he added. “I think in the last seven years we’ve played five times against Barcelona or Bayern Munich, who are the two best teams in Europe. You have to take that into consideration as well.

“In the last nine years, we were only one time the worst team performing in the Champions League from England. When you’re present at that level, you can be punished as well. Basically there are many teams who are not there - they cannot be punished.”

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