Wenger on defeat and finishing second

Arsene Wenger spoke to the media after Arsenal qualfied for the last 16 for the 14th consecutive season despite a 2-0 defeat to Napoli. 

Read a transcript of what he had to say below:

on the result...
I felt in the first half we controlled the game well and, in the second half, Napoli were the better team. They always looked dangerous and won the game 2-0 - they deserved it. When we were down to 10 men and 1-0 down, the doubt crept in a bit, and it was a difficult moment. But we managed to keep it to 1-0 until the last minute of the game. It just shows you that this group had three very good teams, who all made 12 points and goal difference played a big part. It was always going to be like that when Marseille took no points, one team was unfortunately going to suffer.

on the potential of tough draws…
Of course to finish second makes the potential draw more difficult, in the last four or five years we have had very difficult draws, so maybe this time we will be more lucky. But if you look at the teams who are potentially there, at least we know we will have a difficult draw. On the other hand, we have now qualified for a 14th consecutive year for the last 16 and maybe number 14 will bring us a bit of luck.

on using the draw as an inspiration…
Yes, but for now we have a little breather to focus on the league. We have a very difficult game on Saturday morning. We will see what comes out of the draw and will assess that in February because a lot can change on both sides, on us and the team we play against. So we need to put that to the back of our minds now and focus on the Premier League.

on preparations for the game…
We prepared well and were concentrated but we were a bit in between ‘do we attack or do we defend’. It is difficult to cope with that problem. In the second half, I felt that our legs went a little bit and Napoli were sharper physically than us. Saturday was on our mind, we knew to come to Naples would be difficult. We have done our job now we will give absolutely everything on Saturday morning.

on not finishing top...
That is the frustration because you feel there was room to do better but it could have been worse as well tonight.

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