UEFA.com works better on other browsers
For the best possible experience, we recommend using Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge.

Wenger concedes defeat by 'best side in Europe'

While Josep Guardiola praised his FC Barcelona side's dominant display against Arsenal FC, Arsène Wenger was frustrated but magnanimous in defeat by "the best side in Europe".

Wenger concedes defeat by 'best side in Europe'
Wenger concedes defeat by 'best side in Europe' ©UEFA.com

FC Barcelona coach Josep Guardiola picked out the influence of some of his side's lesser lights in stifling the threat posed by Arsenal FC in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie. Beaten 3-1 on the night and 4-3 overall, Arsène Wenger was magnanimous in defeat.

Josep Guardiola, Barcelona coach
We played a fantastic game against 11 players and also when they were reduced to ten. We prevented them from stringing more than three passes together and created lots of chances ourselves. We had a look again at the first leg and decided what we could do in this game. It is their philosophy to play but we didn't allow them to do that.

The stadium looked terrific tonight and our supporters were magnificent; they helped us a lot. You can highlight the goals scored by [Lionel] Messi or the passes of [Andrés] Iniesta but you also need to look at players like [Javier] Mascherano who cut out opposition passes. We are so happy with our performance and I think we deserve to be in the quarter-finals – over the two legs we were better than them.

Arsène Wenger, Arsenal manager
We lost against a good team. In the first half we resisted the pressure and there was room to qualify tonight. We were beaten by a terrific side – the best in Europe. We are out, but when you play against Barcelona you know it will be difficult.

I am still convinced that in the second half we could have done a lot at 1-1 if it had stayed 11 against 11. Once we were down to ten men it was very difficult. We had a very difficult first half where we were completely dominated. Barcelona played a little bit of a poker game by giving absolutely everything in the first half. After [the red card], it became hard.

Selected for you