Wenger – Arsenal might be better off in the Europa League

The Gunners manager admits that five years of elimination in the last 16 of the Champions League is growing frustrating, with a habit developing of first-leg failure

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admits that his side might be better off playing in the Europa League than the Champions League.

Despite a 2-0 win at the Stade Louis II on Tuesday, the Gunners exited Europe’s top club competition on away goals at the hands of Monaco, their fifth elimination at the last-16 stage in as many years.

The north Londoners have made a habit of narrowly missing out on victory after first-leg setbacks against their European rivals and Wenger accepts that their lack of progress in the tournament is a source of frustration.

Asked by reporters if he was unhappy with their repeated eliminations, Wenger replied: “Yes, but sometimes we have been beaten by opponents who were in the final.

“Perhaps it would be better not to go out like this and make the Europa League – we would be more likely to win.”

The Gunners boss believes that his side performed well as they chased an improbable victory against Monaco, however.

He told L’Equipe: “The performance was good. It was a difficult task.

“They surprised us in the first game because subconsciously we were too sure of ourselves.

“In the second half, we lacked a bit of freshness. I am very disappointed to be knocked out, of course, but I will remember a lot of positives from this game.”