Arsenal always in danger of blowing lead against Anderlecht, admits Wenger

The Gunners were on the verge of reaching the knockout phase but squandered a three-goal lead to allow the Belgian champions to rescue a draw


Arsene Wenger admits Arsenal were always in danger of squandering their three-goal lead against Anderlecht because his side defended poorly “from the first to the last minute”.

Arsenal were on course to reach the Champions League knockout phase after goals from Mikel Arteta, Alexis Sanchez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain gave Wenger’s side a three-goal lead, but the Belgian champions were able to rescue a draw following Anthony Vanden Borre’s double and Aleksandar Mitrovic’s 90th-minute equaliser.

“The result is very disappointing,” Wenger told Sky Sports.

“We had a bit of bad luck because the first goal was offside. A bit of lack of concentration because we thought the job was done.

“And a bit of fatigue as well, we had problems to finish the game and we didn’t win the challenges anymore. Overall, defensively we were poor from the first to the last minute today.

“When they came back to 3-2 you want to secure yourself again and we were maybe not cautious enough because we wanted to score goal number four. I still think if you look at the goals, it’s very poor defending. I was never completely sure that we were not in danger because the whole game we didn’t defend well.”

Borussia Dortmund have progressed from Group D following their 4-1 win over Galatasaray on Tuesday evening, while two points from their final two games would guarantee Arsenal a place in the round-of-16 stage.

When asked if he was frustrated or angry with his side’s display against Anderlecht, Wenger replied: “Both. But you have to be realistic as well, they are a good side.

“It’s hugely disappointing today but over the two games we got four points and when you look at their performances it’s well played for us.

“We’ll see [if top spot in the group has now gone]. We have to win our next game and see. We have a chance. It’s likely now that Dortmund will win the group and our one worry is to qualify first. I’m confident because one point should be enough but it’s not done.”

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