Wilshere: I thought we’d get two or three

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Jack Wilshere thought Arsenal would score more goals after Alexandre Lacazette broke the deadlock against ten-man Atletico Madrid before Antoine Griezmann’s equaliser ensured the visitors escaped with a draw.

Diego Simeone’s side sat back and soaked up pressure all night as the Gunners repeatedly probed in and around their box. When Wenger’s men finally scored on 61 minutes it looked as though they had the momentum to establish a solid lead ahead of the second-leg in the Spanish capital only for calamitous defending to cost them dear.

While the 1-1 result is far from a disaster, Wilshere, who set up the Gunners goal, knows that his teammates will have to take their chances in the Wanda Metropolitano if they are to make the final in Lyon on 16 May.

“I was thinking let’s go at them and really put them to the sword,” Wilshere told Arsenal.com when asked what he thought would happen after Lacazette’s goal.

“We were dominant in the game and I felt we started really well and that helped us, but we should have scored early on so that it could settle us down a bit.

“We came out in the second half and knew it would be more of the same. They were going to sit in and try hit us on the counter attack and we had to be patient and move the ball. W

“We done that and got the goal and I really thought we were going to get two or three, but unfortunately, it wasn’t to be. Now we need to regroup and take the positives from tonight and take them to Madrid.”

Having won the Europa League twice in the last decade and with a Champions League final and semi-final under their belts in recent season, Atletico are canny operators at the top end of European football. Their ability to soak up pressure and score on the break came as little surprise to Wilshere.

“We knew what type of team they are – they were always going to try to hit us on the counter and I thought we dealt with that pretty well and defended really well.

“They had a bit of luck off the keeper but at this level that’s a massive goal for them. But at the same time we’re confident that we can go to Madrid and with the chances we created tonight, we are definitely going to create some chances and hopefully we’ll put them away.”

He added: “We’re going to have to take the positives from tonight as we created loads and loads of chances and they have a great goalkeeper, but at the same time we found ways through their defence and we have to keep doing that. Hopefully, a little bit of luck will be on our side on the night.”

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Mootilated
Mootilated

Do the same in the away leg. Go all out. Nothing to lose.

Rossi88
Rossi88

Staying positive. We played well. another day we score at least 3. Madrid could be that day. COYG

SAGunner
SAGunner

They will overrun This mediocre 2nd rate Arsenal team in the reverse fixture… it will be even more embarrasing

Vienna Gooner
Vienna Gooner

They will score a goal, sit back and win 1:0. That will be even more embarrasing…

DB10s Air Miles
DB10s Air Miles

If hardly call last night ’embarrassing’. It was a far from ideal result, especially under the circumstances, but hardly embarrassing. Jeez.

Homer
Homer

You sound like fun. Are you wearing your Henry jersey right this minute, you super supporter you.

Bould's Eyeliner
Bould's Eyeliner

It’s not actually that easy to break 10 men, especially if it’s originally a defensively-specialized team. Conceding 1 was embarrassing, but the rest of the match was largely just good football. Amazing isn’t it, when two sides are evenly matched, how exciting a game can be.

Don’t be melodramatic. Don’t be arrogant. I agree with blogs, this is right where we belong at the moment, and this competition has been far more exciting than the last 5 seasons of instant knockouts in the CL combined.

Pedant
Pedant

4 goals they have conceded at home all season in their league and the Europa Cup.

We didn’t beat them when they had ten players most of the match.

Our defence and away record are poor this season.

They have been in the CL final two of the last 4 seasons.

Unfortunately these are facts. I really hope we can overcome the odds.

Mootilated
Mootilated

Remember when Arsenal where the team that used to accomplish those things?

Pepperidge farm remembers.

RobinAVanWithPersie
RobinAVanWithPersie

They also lost at home to Chelsea in the group stages of the CL conceding two and drew twice to Qarabag. Although I accept they are different team now since Costa came back

Bould's Eyeliner
Bould's Eyeliner

We’re also a different team with Lacazette supported by this Welbeck revival. Fortunately he’s not as good as Costa at being a huge prick, but unfortunately, he’s not as good as Costa at creating goalscoring opportunities (legitimate or whatever shite you call all his other bs chances).

The change is going to be key in Ozil. They kept 4 men zoned around him the entire game, and that did a lot to stifle the incisiveness of our attacks. The defenders had our offensive rhythm completely down, with decent confidence that the unexpected through ball wasn’t going to be coming from Ozil anytime soon. I was so impressed with their solidarity with 10-men in every set piece. That defensive discipline means that we have to break Ozil free and get him into the game, which means the rest of our players have to create more of a threat.

We were nervous to not concede, and in that sense, we did something very Arsenal in conceding through a combination of good breaking play by Griezemann and our usual deer-in-headlights defending.

Now that we have no choice but to attack, this away-leg may be a very interesting game. I predict end-to-end stuff, with no holding back from either side. Cannot wait. Am also fairly anxious, but mostly, excited for what I think might be some of the best football we have yet to see all season.

You can call me Al...munia
You can call me Al...munia

That fucking Griezmann goal celebration!

7 is a magic number
7 is a magic number

yeah, that really rankled, hope we can make it look really silly next week

Alex
Alex

A bit tired of reading endlessly about Wilshere’s thoughts after each game. First, this player has no more his place in the squad and obviously refuses to stay.

Danny
Danny

Don’t read the article then you mug

Bould's Eyeliner
Bould's Eyeliner

Can’t help but quietly agree both ways. Because of the string of results, coupled with Wilshere’s obvious desire to inherit the captain’s band (and more lucrative contract), he’s sounding a lot like Djourou, lately.

But then the other part of me that watched him in awe when he was 16 and breaking through reminded me that he is definitely not Djourou.

Wilshere should just sign the contract especially now that Wenger is leaving. Or maybe he’s less inclined to sign now that Wenger is being forced out. Maybe he’s just not as a thoroughbred Arsenal player anymore, with all the injury troubles he’s had, and a thoroughly positive experience at Bournemouth, bar the injured end to the season. Whatever Wilshere decides, he’s been eclipsed by the emotional event of Wenger’s announcement.

Something tells me, he’s going to be a bit more vocal from hereon.

Zircon
Zircon

I thought so too. :((

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

I don’t see how we could win over there. A quick look at Atletico home stats says it all…

Homer
Homer

Right home stats. Why even play the match then?
Why finish any of the other games – just have UEFA hand Atletico the cup right now.

Oh, wait. That’s right, the stats dont win the game. And that is why matches are played. All this doom and gloom … it ain’t over yet.

gooner1981
gooner1981

People talk about Messi and Ronaldo ad nauseam, but defending is an art too, and Diego Godin was phenomenal, along with Gimenez. 1-1 is a disappointment because of the circumstances, but we still have a chance in Madrid. 11 home games in a row with conceding? Well, records are meant to be broken, and with a bit more penetration and moving the ball faster, we could potentially score a goal which would put us right back into the tie. I have this nagging feeling that it’s going to go to penalties in the end

Viv
Viv

No grit,no luck
These are the sort of games where we have to relentlessly apply pressure from that red card onwards.wave after wave, frighten them,through pass,lobes whatever to put two or three on board.But we were just lil bit more than our usual style of play,should’ve put on the scruff on the neck stuff.
Welbeck was poor.I thought that slip from Mustafi was so unlucky,had he had stayed on his feet they wouldn’t have scored.
Always thought we are always unlucky under Wenger,one or two season changing injuries,some ref decisions,and no luck in deflected goals,comedy own goals etc
We missed the golden chance to win that trophy for Wenger,Alas:(

Sam
Sam

think Griezmann would have scored even if Mustafi hadn’t slipped. The problem was with Koscielny’s daft ‘clearance’.

89 was fine
89 was fine

We played well going forward but very poor goal to give away. The clean sheet was everything and I can’t understand why wenger didn’t try to lock up the defence with a sub when you have little time left and are 1 goal up and we all knew they would try to catch us on the counter.
We still have a chance to go through but if we go 1 up over there can we defend it? Would wenger make changes to keep a clean sheet or would we continue to charge forward and be vulnerable to a counter attack. I’m sure we can score over there but not so sure this team can keep away the mistakes for a whole 90+mins.

afan
afan

so much for, lets win it for wenger, PATHETIC.

Homer
Homer

Yep. Comically bad defending AGAIN from Mustafi and Kos, arguably the best Centerback paring Arsenal has. They are just not good enough.

George
George

You’re not good enough Wilshere.

Adios.

Martin
Martin

Adios George. Wilshire has an excellent match apart from the assist. I hope he signs a new contract.

afan
afan

MILES better than ozil

Homer
Homer

Gave you a thumbs up for positivity toward Wilshere.
But ozil was excellent again. Lays on 6 goal scoaring opportunities, covered a ton of ground. Had a couple pops himself (none all that good) and he was getting back covering. I saw him take the ball off a man twice in our end. A ton of really sweet touches to control the ball and keep a move alive. What on earth does he need to do.

David Hillier's luggage
David Hillier's luggage

I’m sick all the negativity surrounding this game. Yes, it was disappointing to concede and we should have won the game, but the tie’s not over. We can score against anyone, it’s still level, Atleti will be without their manager and both of their right backs.

I’m not saying we’re going through, but we still have a chance.

multiblyat
multiblyat

Man, if I’m honest, I think the red card worked against us actually. It was definitely the right decision, but I think the referee got scared afterwards and got massively biased towards Atletico. They were looking for fouls on purpose the whole evening, which were always given, and most of the time when our boys got fouled, the whistle stayed shut… I think it would’ve been better 11v11, especially considering how we came out in the beginning playing with real intensity and power. The refs bias after the red card just helped Atletico to stop the game much more.

Anyways, gonna be hard in Madrid, but wherever there are ridiculous records going on (Atletico 11 games no goals conceded at home and us being terrible away this year), they’ve got to end at some point…

Ya gooner
Ya gooner

Me and my maye in the pub said this. The amount times I thought it was our free kick only to see then take it

many people
many people

Exactly my thoughts. The moment the red card was awarded, I told myself that they aren’t even going to try and score one now and breaking their defence will be extremely difficult. In half an hour it was clear that the ref was caught by some sort of guilt and wasn’t going to give us any fouls throughout the match anymore. I was thinking it would be 0-0 in the end which wouldn’t have been much better in my opinion. At least the team now knows we can very well score against them.

Double98
Double98

“You haven’t a prayer Arsenal”
That was the message from the press before Anfield 89.

This what they will tell us about Madrid 18

We need to go and “Michael Thomas” their asses

Clock-End Mike
Clock-End Mike

That’s the spirit! Who’s going to be Michael Thomas, then?

Pedant
Pedant

MkhiT will be Micky T.

Georgeycharles
Georgeycharles

Well Jack, you know what thought did……

Alexstratz
Alexstratz

That’s very naive of him. 1-0 against an Atletico Madrid defense would have been an acceptable result going into the second leg. Now they’ve thrown away all the hard work due to inexperience at this level.

allezkev
allezkev

Funny thing is that our results away from home in europe have been better than at the Emirates, which is at odds with the rest of our campaign this season.

Will Athletico sit back and defend their away goal?
Maybe they’ll just hold onto what they’ve got…

And you never know with this Arsenal mob, a late 1-0 win,
89th minute.

There’s always hope…

WengerStout
WengerStout

For all you who fail to acknowledge the challenges of battling one of the best international defenses which is much the same whether 11 or 10 men. The only difference is more offensive chances for us and less for them. ” We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in Spain, we shall fight on the center of the field of battle, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island of supportive committed fans whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the corners, we shall fight on the penalty boxes, we shall cheer for our Arsenal warriors the field and in the stands , we shall fight until the end and we shall never surrender! “

santori
santori

Positives, we dominatd them even before the sending off.

If we approach the game in similar vein in Spain, we will get something out of it.

But playing against 10 well drilled players sitting deep is not as easy as it seems.

The issues we have are endemic in squad composition.

We no longer have a different approach available in Giroud. Instead Mslintat and company traded him in for a cup tied player.

More importantly, we lack natural width without the fullbacks (who were superb on the day) coming up field.

This disturbs our rhythm when we turn over the ball during their rare forays into our half.

Granit has been excellent in recent games and helps us transition much quicker with his accurate long passes.

But without the sort of wingers that can beat a man or two on their own accord (take ons), we tend to wait for the fullbacks to come forward or play the ball backwards when confronted by opposing defenders.

This breaks down the attack, makes it less dynamic/more ponderous and we fail to catch them out before they regroup and regain shape in their box.

As I have mentioned before, I would have preferred if we had got Mahrez (or now Thauvin) out wide. These players are a perfect balance of goals and assists. More importantly, we are lacking in skills out wide and pace.

Hopefully come the summer, the new gaffer will address this issue.

Meanwhile, we have a second leg to stand on. We need to forget the mistake (Koscielny) and take the positives. Mistakes will happen.

BUT if we do not prosecute with sufficient efficiency and precision up top, we will lay ourselves prey to the potential for mistakes at the back.