Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger laid into his team last night after they fell to a shock 3-1 defeat against Monaco in the Champions League.
The Gunners were heavy favourites for the game at the Emirates Stadium last night but were stunned as goals from Geoffrey Kondogbia, Dimitar Berbatov and Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco left them on the brink of being dumped out of the competition at the last-16 stage.
Wenger pulled no punches and could barely hide his anger as he mulled over the ashes of his side's Champions League campaign after the full-time whistle.
"It looks, when you have not that kind of sharpness, anything is possible,” the Arsenal manager said. “We were not at the level defensively. We were a bit unlucky as well because the first goal was deflected. But on the second and third goals, we were suicidal.
“We had the luck to come back to 2-1 and you do not have the right to give a goal away the way we did. That makes our task in the second leg extremely difficult. It looks like we have lost our nerves and our rationality on the pitch. The heart took over the head and, at this level, it doesn’t work. Mentally we were not ready, not sharp enough to get into this game. We paid for it.”
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Arsenal now have three weeks to gather their thoughts before the second leg at the Stade Louis II but they are in danger of missing out on making the quarter finals of the Champions League for the fifth straight year.
It looked as though Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had given Arsenal a glimmer of hope after his strike pulled the game back to 2-1 as extra time began, but Carrasco's last-gasp effort after a mistake from the England international was pounced upon leaves Wenger's side in huge trouble.
Former Tottenham and Manchester United striker Berbatov twisted the knife after the game last night, claiming that his side showed more desire than the Gunners.
"Nobody expected that probably but we are confident in our ability and honestly we deserved to win," said the Bulgarian. "We scored our chances and in the end it was a great win for us. But it is not over. We have another game in Monaco and Arsenal are a dangerous team."
The remark from Berbatov, not exactly the hardest runner in football, about Monaco showing more desire was akin to kicking a man when he's down. Arsenal were well beaten and put in one of their most insipid performances under Wenger - and he rightly called his team out.
The big question is - why has it taken so long to do it?