Champions League round of 16: Arsenal 1-5 Bayern Munich
That’s 10 goals conceded against the Germans in two games and two 5-1 humiliations! Arsenal is not a big calibre in Europe and this matchup showed to the world all the deficiencies of this team.
Defender Bellerin apologized for the rubbish performance:
on a punishing night…
We’re really hurt about the result and how it went. The team gave everything, especially in the first half. We never gave up and we knew it was going to be really hard, but the team went for it from the first minute. After the penalty, things just went downhill. We knew it was very hard for us to come back after that, and we just need to look at ourselves, learn from this situation and focus on Saturday. We have another game, another competition which we know we can do well in and we need to prepare for it.
on conceding five goals…
It’s hard in those situations. In 30 minutes you have to score six goals if you want to come back, and it’s hard for everyone on the pitch to go for it. When you have these situations, you have to try not to concede but still try to score. There’s a lot of pride and you don’t want to lose games like this. With the decisions of the referee, which I don’t want to get involved in, sometimes things don’t go your way. There were a lot of positives, especially in the first half. Even though it’s hard to take, we just need to learn from it.
on how the dressing room mood is…
I’m really hurt because to see the fans leave the stadium so early… At the end of the day we play for them, want them to be happy, to be behind us, and it hurts to see them leave so early. We just need to try to make them happy with the rest of our season. We know we’ve got the players and the potential to do well, we just need to play every game the same way that we started today. If we play that kind of football, we can be up there. We have to say sorry to the fans because we want to do better than that.
on whether it was a penalty or a red card…
I don’t think it’s good for me to get involved in this conversation. The referees are doing their jobs. Sometimes they’re going to get it wrong, sometimes they get it right. It’s true that it affected a lot of our game because we started the game really well by going 1-0 up in the first half. The team believed that we could make it. After the red card and penalty, it went downhill and we knew we would have to score five or six goals to make it through to the next round.
Coach Wenger added:
I felt that we produced a performance with the spirit and the pride that we wanted. After that the story finishes badly. Personally, I would say that we really put Bayern under pressure and that we were really unlucky tonight because it was 100 per cent a penalty in the first half after the foul on Walcott. I checked it on television. In the second half, the referee killed the game. After that, it was very difficult but the referee was very, very powerful for Bayern tonight. At that moment in the game, not only was it not a penalty, but Lewandowski was offside. On top of that, he gave us a red card and that killed us completely. Overall I must say that Bayern are a good side, but tonight they can also say thank you to the decisions of the referee in the second half.
On the red card: It leaves me very angry, very frustrated and, because we are in a difficult period, it hurts even more. It’s absolutely unexplainable and scandalous. You look at what really happened, and the guy behind the line gives the penalty and the red card when the referee had given a yellow. Okay we have to take it on the chin and I have to stand up for it, and I will take a lot of criticism, but it doesn’t change my mind. We have to deal with these kinds of situations in this game but that doesn’t make them right.