Arsene Wenger faced the media following Arsenal's 3-1 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League. Here's the transcript from his post-match press conference.
on the first leg...We played against a good team who took advantage of every opportunity they created in the first half. We had quite a good start for five minutes. You could see we were a a bit nervous, but Bayern was fully confident and we paid for it. At 2-0 down of course it became very difficult, but we put in a good battle in the second half and came back to 2-1. It looked like we could come back to 2-2, but unfortunately we conceded another goal. The 3-1 was a big blow for the team. From that moment on, you could see that we might even concede one more because we didn't keep our structure anymore. The last 10 minutes were difficult, once it was 3-1. As much as 2-1 looked like possibly becoming 2-2, at 3-1 it looked more like we might concede another one.
on Arsenal's chances of qualifying...Let's not hide the truth: it will be extremely difficult against a team of that quality. They didn't play two finals in the last three years without that quality that we have seen tonight. We have to give our best there and hope that everything will go for us and hope that by the second leg we have built our confidence up a bit more to go into the game with the belief that will be needed.
on responding to the Blackburn defeat...
"Let's not hide the truth: it will be extremely difficult against a team of that quality"
I think we had a good response today, the players gave absolutely everything. We played against a side who have no doubt at all. They have a history in the last six months where everything is positive and you could see as well that every player is confident to play with full power. That's not completely our case at the moment. But things change sometimes quickly in three weeks, so let's hope we can do it.
on whether confidence was the difference...No, you have to give them credit for their class as well. They are a team of class. In patches in the first half, it was a difference of quality in their display compared to ours. In the second half I believe we were close and you could feel we were becoming dangerous, but after that they changed, became more defensive and played on the counter-attack. It was difficult for us create chances.
on poor defending and marking...We were a bit nervous. We wanted to do well. They're good going forward on both flanks with their full backs. I feel that Lahm and Alaba were outstanding tonight going forward. When they won the ball, every time they created a lot of danger on the flanks. It was very difficult for the defenders. We were outnumbered at times because we had to push forward a lot. They're a quality side. We have to give them credit for that.
on overcoming nerves...That's a very difficult question to answer at the moment. The results bring that. It's a bit of a vicious circle.
on his anger in Monday's press conference…My anger yesterday was not based on opinions. It was based on information. For me you [the media] have two missions: to give your opinion and to inform people. When you give wrong information without checking with us, I me angry because I feel that is disrespectful. When you give your opinion, I will always accept it. I have never disputed any opinion in 16 years. When you give wrong information, you cheat the guy who buys your newspaper. That's why I was angry. I work here for 16 years and you could check with the Club, you could check with me, before you give the information out. If I read some information in your newspaper, I expect it to be true. That's why I was angry. I think I am entitled to do that. You can say any opinion about a football game, and I accept it. You can say I'm a bad manager and I'll accept it, but when you give the wrong information I don't accept it.
on buying new defenders...Is that an information or an opinion?! I just think that our defenders are quality, and the transfer market is closed. That's an information. Bayern is a quality side who can beat anybody in Europe. On top of that, we lack a bit of confidence, like at the moment. That makes them even better.
on getting back into the Champions League...Look, we'll have two battles, but maybe the easier battle will be to be back in the Champions League. But we have to give everything to try and change things in the second leg. It's happened to us before, to be 2-0 down. That's one of the positive things that happened before. We changed and reversed things [in the past], so we have examples of moments when we've come back to 2-2.
on the quality of his squad…The quality of my players is there, but they're not getting their rewards. We're not being rewarded for our efforts. I still have confidence in my players and in my team. But, on tonight's evidence, there's clearly work to be done.
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