• Champions League

Arsenal's attacking players let us down, says Mertesacker

ESPN staff
November 5, 2014
Wenger rues defensive lapse

Per Mertesacker says Arsenal's attacking players let them down as they squandered a 3-0 lead at the Emirates Stadium to draw with Anderlecht in the Champions League.

Arsenal were strolling to a place in the last-16 with under half an hour remaining before they capitulated with Aleksandar Mitrovic's 90th-minute header completing a superb comeback for Anderlecht.

It means Arsenal still need another point from games against Borussia Dortmund and Galatasaray to ensure their progress, and Mertesacker says it is not just Arsenal's defenders who should be blamed.

"When we drop sometimes everyone has to be involved to defend. You can't afford for just five or six players to defend, or just the back four," Mertesacker told the Evening Standard.

"That is what we lacked especially in the final third and in the last 20 minutes.

"We have to defend better as a team. We did not stop them [Anderlecht] playing and they are good at it.

"As you could see, even in the final third, when you do not put them under pressure, they can deliver good balls through the middle. They can cause trouble and we just left them playing. So in general that was the problem.

"Last night is a small setback for us but it is a good warning and we will bounce back quickly. We are really good at that, we have shown that a couple of times.

"We still have a comfortable situation in terms of going through. We want to secure second place and we still have a big advantage after four games."

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