Mis­fir­ing Gun­ners

> We have lost mo­men­tum, ad­mits Wenger

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

ARSENE WENGER ad­mits Ar­se­nal have lost mo­men­tum and look des­tined for a frus­trat­ing sec­ond-placed fin­ish in their Cham­pi­ons League group af­ter be­ing held to a 2-2 draw against Paris Sain­tGer­main.

Wenger’s side were on course to wrap up top spot in Group A when they led 2-1 late in the sec­ond half at the Emi­rates Sta­dium yes­ter­day.

But Lu­cas’s 77th minute header was de­flected into his own net by Gun­ners winger Alex Iwobi and Ar­se­nal were un­able to find a win­ner.

That leaves the north Lon­don­ers level on points with PSG but be­hind them on a headto-head record, mean­ing the French team will take first place if they win their last group match, against min­nows Lu­do­gorets on De­cem­ber 6.

Ar­se­nal travel to Basel on the same night and Wenger con­ceded it doesn’t look likely they will take pole po­si­tion fol­low­ing their third suc­ces­sive draw in all com­pe­ti­tions, mean­ing they will prob­a­bly get a tougher tie in the knock­out stages.

“It’s not over, but we have a 90% chance to fin­ish sec­ond,” Wenger said. “We wanted to fin­ish first. We haven’t lost a game in this group so we have done well, but we haven’t fin­ished the job.

“We dropped off af­ter it was 2-1. We didn’t main­tain the pres­sure and paid for that.

“It’s frus­trat­ing. We were a bit pas­sive on the cor­ner for their sec­ond goal.”

Ar­se­nal know only too well how dam­ag­ing it can be to fin­ish sec­ond as a se­ries of tough draws have led to six con­sec­u­tive last-16 ex­its.

“Will it be bad for us? We have to wait and see,” he said. “If you fin­ish first you play the sec­ond game at home, but you look at the groups and it’s dif­fi­cult to tell what is bet­ter.”

Af­ter a strong run that raised hopes of sus­tained chal­lenges for sil­ver­ware at home and abroad, Ar­se­nal have looked lethar­gic in lucky draws against Manch­ester United and PSG.

Wenger knows his side have been be­low their best over the last week, but he doesn’t ex­pect the dip to last.

“We have not lost but we have lost a win­ning mo­men­tum a lit­tle bit,” he said.

PSG could eas­ily have fin­ished with vic­tory as Edin­son Ca­vani squan­dered two late chances, but boss Unai Emery was happy enough with a pol­ished per­for­mance that puts his side’s Euro­pean des­tiny in their own hands.

“If we are to an­a­lyse the two matches against Ar­se­nal I think that we de­serve to be first at the mo­ment,” he said.

“Ar­se­nal have some good play­ers and are set up well. We did very well against them and our best play­ers showed great per­son­al­ity. The play­ers met my ex­pec­ta­tions. It was a ter­rific per­for­mance and it’s im­por­tant now that we build on this in our next fix­tures.” – AFP

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