Arsene Wenger laments "out-dated" away goals rule following Champions League exit

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Arsene Wenger faced the press today as his side prepare to travel to Newcastle on Saturday for a seemingly decisive match as the race for a top-four spot hots up.

However, the Frenchman was keen to address a UEFA rule he feels has become out-dated and contributed to his side's exit at the hands of Monaco on Tuesday.

Speaking to the press, Wenger revealed: "(the away goals rule) has been created in the sixties. The weight of the away goal is perhaps too big today."

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In particular, Wenger explained that the rule had originally been created to favour and promote attack-minded teams in the sixties.

However, he was keen to point out that "football has changed", and that as a result "it should count maybe after extra time."

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Such is the policy in the League Cup in England, where away goals only count after extra time in the second leg of League Cup semi-finals.

English teams under-performing in Champions League

With Everton the only remaining English team in European competitions after the exit of Chelsea and Arsenal at the last 16 stage, Wenger was quick to say: "I am not in the mood to analyse much what is wrong with English football. I don't think there is a lot wrong."

This is certainly not a view shared by a number of TV pundits, with Gary Neville recently claiming that English teams were struggling to impose themselves in Europe's elite competition and that this was a genuine cause for concern. 

Race for the top four tighter than ever 

With only three points separating Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool, and the latter two facing each other on Sunday, Wenger was equally keen to highlight the importance of maintaing their fantastic domestic form at Tyneside on Saturday.

He told reporters: "We are on the neck of Man City but as well behind us we have Man United and Liverpool. It's very tight.Tottenham are not out of it and Southampton are not out of it." 

The Gunners boss also appeared to rule out a late title charge, saying that although they were too far away from leaders his Chelsea, his team still has "an opportunity every week to get closer (to Chelsea)."

However, the Frenchman has urged for caution and focus on the next game, saying that: "We have to continue to improve and concentrate on our own performance".

It is essential that the Gunners get the job done at Tyneside on Saturday, and the manager believes it will be a "tough game", particularly considering the tiring nature of the West Ham and Monaco matches. 

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