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Vanden Borre: Anderlecht comeback 'incredible'

Anthony Vanden Borre sparked RSC Anderlecht's comeback at Arsenal FC and said it was "incredible" while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain reflected on a "lesson learned".

Anderlecht celebrate their point
Anderlecht celebrate their point ©AFP/Getty Images

Arsenal led 3-0 but Anderlecht came back to earn draw which keeps them in contention
Anthony Vanden Borre scored the visitors' first two and says "it's hard to explain"
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain admits "it's a massive lesson learned"
Next games: Arsenal v Dortmund, Anderlecht v Galatasaray (26 November)

Anthony Vanden Borre, Anderlecht defender
It's hard to explain, you are losing 3-0 to Arsenal in their stadium and it is not easy. But we had character and when we scored and got it back to 3-1, from there the team regained confidence. We had more space and we began to play better and had the good fortune to score the second then the third.

Revenge [for the late 2-1 defeat in Brussels] would have been better with a victory, but I think what we have done here is incredible all the same and yes, it is a kind of revenge. I had the chance to score twice – fantastic for me – but that is thanks to the work of the whole team and also the fans here tonight.

I don't think we have played badly in any of our games in the Champions League and playing a game like this will really give us confidence above all because we have a young team. Now we have to take on Galatasaray and show that it is not by chance that we are here.

Oxlade-Chamberlain blames complacency

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arsenal midfielder
It's hard to say [why we lost the lead], but obviously a little bit of complacency crept in because we didn't finish the game strong at all. At 3-0 a team of our quality should be able to see that out and dominate the remaining 20–30 minutes. We failed to do that and we were punished.

We were creating chances and 2-0 at half-time we obviously felt comfortable and that we had a good foothold in the game. Then to make it 3-0 that obviously eases a little bit more pressure, but you can never take the foot off the gas too much and we obviously did that and they punished us.

Hopefully this is a massive lesson learned – we were at the opposite end of the spectrum a couple of weeks ago at Anderlecht, losing 1-0 and we took it right to the end and in the last two minutes we turned the game around. So we should have known better than anyone that the game is never done until the final whistle. We didn't do that tonight, but hopefully it is a lesson learned and we can take this into the rest of the games and get the job done.

[Dortmund] is going to be very important. We need to get points on the table to qualify. We would have loved to have done it tonight. But we have failed to do that and it is really disappointing. We need to pick ourselves up and we need to make sure we don't make the same mistakes again. We need to see the Dortmund game in a positive attitude and approach the game the right way.

A frustrated Arsenal manager
A frustrated Arsenal manager©AFP/Getty Images

Arsène Wenger, Arsenal manager
You have to give them credit. They did fight until the end and we had a poor defensive performance from the first to the last minute. We never felt comfortable and we got punished. Our performance was not good enough to do it.

At 3-0 there was a combination of switching off and thinking the job was done and also fatigue, you could see we were not competing for the challenges.

Maybe we underestimated Anderlecht subconsciously. That's Champions League – you need to be at that mental level and we were not. After 60 minutes, at 3-0 up, subconsciously you can think the game is won.

I think Anderlecht are a good team. Maybe we'll see in four or five years that this team was full of good players and they are a bit better than everybody thinks they are.

[Alexis Sánchez] was one of a few that was at his level. He was involved in all the goals and he was one of two or three players that were at their level.

We need everybody to step up. You want everybody to perform at their best. I believe defensively across the pitch we were very, very poor. We just came out of two clean sheets and thought maybe that we had the job done at 3-0.

I think we dropped off too much and didn't go into the challenges. Then you are always open. We didn't stop the crosses or long balls. I don't think we were outnumbered for example – in the first half it happened, but in the second half it was bad defending rather than being outnumbered.

Aleksandar Mitrović swoops to make it 3-3
Aleksandar Mitrović swoops to make it 3-3©AFP/Getty Images

Besnik Hasi, Anderlecht coach
It was a very intense evening. We began in an organised fashion and then they wanted to score as quickly as possible and try and kill the game. We let Arsenal have the ball, they had some half-chances but I think the best chances in the first half fell to us. When we had the ball in midfield we kept losing it on the counterattack and then I think we just had a bit of a mental slip-up with the penalty, and the second goal was a bit of a gift.

At half-time we said we needed to create more chances and use the space better. At 3-0 you either say the game is over and they perhaps wanted to score the fourth or fifth. We made a few changes and at 3-1 we grew in confidence.

I really have to thank our fans tonight. Even at 3-0 down they really got behind the team and the players got back into the game because of the supporters – then we found our rhythm.

At 3-2 Arsenal began to have doubts and we made tactical changes. I said in the last half-hour we are really going to push and once again I saw that we were having success going forward. We scored the goal so we're very happy.

Maybe they thought they were untouchable at that moment and they wanted to go on and score more goals, I don't know. I am very satisfied with the spirit of my team and very proud of them. They are a young team in difficult moments and they showed their character and their quality. They did fantastic today.