'Sad' Wenger defends Ozil after Atletico defeat

Ruben Hill
May 4, 2018

"It was a similar game to what we had in the first leg". "Unfortunately you have to go through that - the game can be very cruel, sometimes very nice, but the suffering is very strong tonight".

For all his domestic achievements, Wenger will also depart without a European trophy to his name and it remains to be seen how sitting outside the continent's premier tournament will affect Arsenal's pursuit of a new coach, and players, this summer. Along with the other forwards we have, that was very important'. For the club, there is now some time to think about what to do for next season.

"We played a good team and good luck to them in the final, but we feel we did enough to go through. With the right additions in the summer I think they can compete next year".

Former Gunner, Martin Keown, laid into Ozil.

"He wasn't fit to wear the shirt for me tonight".

"It looks like it could be ruptured although I'm a bit cautious - no-one can say that clinically at the moment". He needs to be dug out. We expect better from him.

'These are crocodile tears that I'm seeing from the player.

Keown - who won three league titles at Arsenal and made more than 300 appearances for the club - was scathing in assessing the Germany international's display. He's not conning me. He'll have some emotional breakdown and won't be able to play at the weekend.

When Keown's comments were put to Wenger, he said: "I don't agree with that". It was a hard team, physically very intense. In the first half tonight, we had plenty of opportunities, but we missed something always in the final ball.

The injury forced Arsenal into a change after just 12 minutes with Calum Chambers replacing Koscielny - who has been nursing an Achilles problem for most of the season.

Arsenal and France now face an anxious wait. "The unsafe situations we created were there, but we missed something in both boxes", Wenger told BT Sport.

Arsenal's task was made more hard in the opening exchanges as captain, Laurent Koscielny, was stretchered off with a ruptured Achilles tendon; casting huge doubt over the defender's availability for this summer's World Cup.

It was perhaps also telling that Costa's physicality and Atletico's defensive rigour ultimately proved decisive, two qualities Wenger's Arsenal in recent years have so lacked.

"Costa came back here for nights like this", Atletico coach Diego Simeone said.

"This side needs an aggressive striker, a striker with anger, and that's exactly what he is".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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