Arsenal manager defends Champions League performance despite 3-1 loss

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has defended his performance in the Champions League despite being knocked out in the round-of-sixteen for the sixth consecutive campaign, Mirror reports.

The Gunners had a tough task of overturning a two-goal deficit against Barcelona following their 2-0 loss in the first leg at the Emirates, and the expected happened as the European champions easily beat Wenger’s men 3-1 on the night.

The result means that Arsenal have crashed out of the competitions in the second round for the sixth straight year, but Wenger is adamant that his men showed the fighting spirit necessary to reignite their faltering season.

He said: “I’m pleased with the performance. The quality of our game was good. The performance shows our season is not over.”

The Frenchman went on to add that he was in awe of Barca’s attacking trident of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, and Neymar, who all grabbed a goal each in the fixture.

“I am disappointed with the result but we played a team with the best three strikers I’ve seen,” he added.

“From nothing they can create a chance. You must admire art. They have two or three players with the ability to transform normal life into art. Of course for me it is suffering as well but it is exceptional what Messi does.

“I give you the stats (six in a row). We have to consider game by game. You look at the positives and negatives and prepare for the next one.

“We have gone out against top sides, who went on and won the Champions League after. On one occasion we were completely guilty, against Monaco. The others were against Bayern and Barcelona twice.”

The Gunners will travel to Goodison Park to face Everton in their next league fixture as they attempt to catch Leicester City, who are 11 points ahead, at the top of the table.