Wenger defends record as Arsenal crash out
17 March 2016, 17:30
Arsene Wenger has defended his Champions League record after again failing to guide Arsenal past the last 16 of the competition.
The Gunners lost 3-1 against Barcelona on Wednesday, meaning they have not qualified for the quarter-finals for six successive years.
However, Wenger claims that is more down to being victims of unkind draws than anything else.
"We have gone out in the last six years to top sides who won the Champions League after,” he told reporters.
“On one occasion we lost to Monaco but the others are always against Bayern Munich or Barcelona.
Goals from Neymar, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez eventually settled the tie on the night after Arsenal had briefly appeared to make a game of it after Mohamed Elneny’s equaliser.
And Wenger was happier heaping praise on Barcelona’s attacking trio than laying any criticism at the feet of his own side.
"It was a team performance and the quality was good," he said of his players’ efforts.
"I'm disappointed with the result but we played against a team with the best strikers I have seen play together. It is exceptional, they can make chances from nothing.
"Barcelona, going forward in the final third with the quality of passing and creativity, Messi was absolutely exceptional.
"He went for 90 minutes and came out of the game without missing a first touch, no matter where the ball came from. Barcelona have two or three players who can transform normal life into art."