Arsene Wenger was furious at his players for throwing away a three-goal lead as Arsenal drew 3-3 against Anderlecht in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday. The Frenchman stormed down the tunnel at the fulltime whistle knowing that the result makes it virtually impossible for the Gunners to top their group, particularly after Borussia Dortmund dispatched Galatasaray, 4-1, to remain perfect at the top of Group D.
While many in the press described the game as a tactical nightmare for Wenger, Anderlecht’s coach, Besnik Hasi, attributed his team’s comeback to the fact that Arsenal had “tried to play the same way” at 3-0, and “didn’t just sit back."
Wenger said his team simply stopped playing after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored Arsenal’s third. “At 3-0, we thought the job was done,” he said. “In the Champions League you need to be at the right mental level or you get punished. Certainly, we were not. Subconsciously, you can think the game is won.”
Even so, the Frenchman admitted: “We gave a poor defensive performance from the first to the last. We never felt comfortable. There was a bit of bad luck because the first [Anderlecht] goal was offside but our defensive performance was not good enough. Across the pitch defensively, we were very, very poor.”