Arsene Wenger has denied that last season’s 8-2 Premier League defeat against Manchester United is the worst of his Arsenal career, claiming instead that losing the Champions League final to Barcelona in 2006 hurt more, according to the
The Old Trafford defeat of August 2011 was Arsenal’s heaviest in the history of the Premier League but Wenger claimed the late goal scored by Barcelona defender Juliano Belletti – later of Chelsea – was more painful than the eight United racked up last season.
Arsenal had taken the lead against Barcelona thanks to a 37th minute Sol Campbell goal, despite already being down to 10 men after goalkeeper Jens Lehmann was dismissed in the 18th minute after bringing down Samuel Eto’o. Robert Pires was withdrawn to make way for back-up goalkeeper Manuel Almunia and Arsenal held their lead well into the second-half, until Eto’o levelled the scores after 76 minutes. Belletti netted the winner five minutes later.
Wenger said: “The worst is when you lose the Champions League Final late in the game – that has real meaning,” and added regarding the Man Utd defeat: “It was embarrassing, of course, as you want your fans to be proud and happy. But you know that they will be hurt deeply.”
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