After AS Monaco progressed on away goals in the Champions League last-16 at Arsenal’s expense, defender Per Mertesacker says the French club deserved their progression, while admitting the Gunners didn’t do enough over the two legs to warrant a lace in the quarter-finals, reports Sky Sports.
Manager Arsene Wenger felt Monaco’s second leg performance was so below par they were incredibly fortunate to go through. Arsenal were just one goal away from progression, and the French coach says Arsenal didn’t deserve to be eliminated after Monaco’s negative showing at the Stade Louis II. Per Mertesacker, however, doesn’t agree, and was brutally honest in his assessment of the game.
The German international and Arsenal vice-captain has been very critical of his side’s mentality in the big games this season. He was frustrated that the Londoners lost 3-1 at the Emirates in the last-16 first leg clash against Monaco, but felt their second leg performance was considerably better.
While disappointed to be out of the competition at the same stage for the 5th consecutive year, Mertesacker is hoping the Gunners learn from their errors. Arsenal were expected to progress against Monaco, so elimination should be a wake-up call.
“The best team went through. Monaco deserved it because they played much better in the first leg. We played well today but it was a massive deficit, and it wasn’t enough tonight. We came here and tried absolutely everything, and when you look at the game we could have scored more than two,” he said.
“Monaco deserve it and that’s absolutely fine. They caused a lot of problems away from home. We have to admit that we regret the first game. Play as badly as we did in the first game and you’re out of the Champions League.”
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