Napoli defeat annoys Wenger

Arsene Wenger admitted his frustration at Arsenal not being able to finish the job after his team lost 2-0 at Napoli.

Last Updated: 12/12/13 at 07:01 Post Comment

Arsene Wenger: Watches on at Stadio San Paolo

Arsene Wenger: Watches on at Stadio San Paolo

The Gunners needed a point to be sure of seeding for the Champions League knockout stage, but, after their Group F defeat at the Stadio San Paolo coupled with a late winner for Borussia Dortmund in Marseille, they are now set to face one of Europe's leading sides such as Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid or Paris Saint-Germain in Monday's draw.

Wenger said: "That is the frustration (not winning the group), because you feel there was room to do better, but it could have been worse as well tonight.

"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 (from the initial group stage) for a 14th consecutive year and maybe number 14 will bring us a bit of luck."

Wenger added: "But for now, we have a little breather to focus on the championship. We have a very difficult game on Saturday morning (at Manchester City).

"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 championship."

Gonzalo Higuain, who was a summer transfer target for Arsenal, slotted home on 73 minutes to finally break Arsenal's determined resistance and, after midfielder Mikel Arteta was shown a second yellow card, it was always going to be an uphill battle to get back into the tie.

Jose Callejon chipped in a second during stoppage time but it was not enough for Rafael Benitez's men, who must now regroup for the Europa League.

Wenger said: "I felt in the first half we controlled the game well, and, in the second half, Napoli were the better team.

"We prepared well and were concentrated, but we were a bit in between do we attack or do we defend, so 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.

"They always looked dangerous and won the game 2-0. They deserved it and were always dangerous.

"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, and 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."

Wenger added: "Saturday was on our mind, (but) we knew to come to Naples would be difficult.

"We have done our job now we will give absolutely everything on Saturday morning."

Wenger feels Napoli will be a force in the Europa League, which is a competition Benitez won when in charge at Chelsea last season.

"They have the quality to win it Napoli, but there are some English teams they will have to fight against as well," Wenger said.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

t's why Mourinho is so successful. He gives players a specific, limited set of functions to perform. They are but a cog in a machine. Do no more, do no less. I assume he learnt it from LvG :)

red_devil83
Fellaini Has Politely Become Undroppable

I

really hope that someone in the mainstream media spots that the Bayern manager played for and managed Barcelona quite well, and thinks to mention it in the build up. That would be really interesting.

megabrow (cufc)
Barcelona to face Bayern

Y

our gob says one thing, Brendan, the results say something else.

balls-to-monty
Rodgers bullish over Anfield future

Footer 365

Jose Mourinho hits back at Arsene Wenger ahead of showdown

Jose Mourinho has retaliated after Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger questioned Chelsea's defensive approach.

Ilkay Gundogan close to Manchester United move

Manchester United are close to agreeing a £21.5m deal to sign Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, according to Sky sources.

Eden Hazard will stay at Chelsea and not move to Real Madrid, says Jose Mourinho

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is not concerned about Real Madrid’s reported interest in Eden Hazard.

Mail Box

Chelsea Millions Should Buy Better...

For the money they have spent, Chelsea should be playing like the Harlem Globetrotters rather than Atletico. We have mails on Cesc, Brendan Rodgers and...

Brendan Rodgers Is David Cameron...

Rodgers is compared to the Prime Minister, insomuch as he has a right to peddle bulls**t, apparently. Plus why comparing Arsene Wenger to Diego Simeone is a mug's game...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company