Arsenal FC news: Arsene Wenger criticises Gunners’ finishing and compares Atletico Madrid draw with Manchester United defeat
Arsenal’s poor finishing was the reason they failed to secure an impressive victory over Atletico Madrid on Thursday evening, according to manager Arsene Wenger.
The Gunners wasted numerous chances against Diego Simeone’s side, who were forced to play more than 80 minutes with only 10 men due to Sime Vrsaljko’s early dismissal.
They totalled 28 shots in all, but only Alexandre Lacazette – in fine form on the night – found a way past Jan Oblak in the Atleti goal.
And while a 1-0 victory would have been a solid result against the LaLiga side, Arsenal’s defensive fragilities once again cost them and allowed Atleti a way back into the game – and an away goal which hands them a major advantage ahead of next week’s second leg.
Antoine Griezmann netted the equaliser with only nine minutes remaining after woeful play from Nacho Monreal, Shkodran Mustafi and Laurent Koscielny, and Arsenal now face a monumental task when they visit Madrid; Wenger’s side have to score against a team who have not conceded a home goal in 1,007 minutes.
And Wenger has criticised his team’s finishing, rather than their performance, comparing Arsenal’s profligacy to that shown when Manchester United visited the Emirates just before the turn of the year; the north Londoners registered 33 shots against United – 16 of which were on target – but they somehow managed to lose the Premier League encounter 3-1.
“We produced a performance we wanted to produce, but the result is not in line with the performance,” he said.
“We can only look at ourselves on tonight’s result because 1-0 is a perfect result at home. It was down to us after that not to make a mistake.
“We had 20 shots on goal, we have seen that against Manchester United (earlier in the season), where we had 33 shots on goal and lost the game. It’s a story we’ve seen before.
“For us the task is clear. But of course you come out tonight with a bitter taste, because we had the chances to be in the final tonight.
“That’s where the regret is. We were not clinical enough and unfortunately we gave a goal away which puts us in a very difficult position.”