Following Arsenal's 4-0 humiliation at the hands of Milan yesterday, manager Arsène Wenger has slammed the occasion as his side's worst night in Europe, according to The Guardian.
Arsenal went into the UEFA Champions League last-16 first leg tie full of optimism having moved above Chelsea into fourth place in the Barclays Premier League table, but were shot down in spectacular fashion by the current Italian champions.
And Wenger, usually so reticent to publicly criticize his players, left nobody in the dark about his thoughts on the scale of his team's ineptitude in what amounted to a horror show.
We were punished and deservedly so, Wenger claimed in the press conference, as reported by The Guardian. I felt we were never in the game, we were very poor offensively and defensively. It was shocking to see how we were beaten everywhere.
Milan struck first after only 15 minutes through Kevin Prince Boateng's wonder strike. The fact that Boateng once played for the Gunners' bitter rivals Tottenham only adding insult to injury. The scoring continued with a goal from Brazilian Robinho either side of half time, before the enigmatic Zlatan Ibrahimovic wrapped-up the scoring with a 79th minute penalty.
There was not one moment in the 90 minutes where we were really in the game, Wenger lamented, as stated by ESPN. What made it worse was that we had to chase the game. It was always the same problem, balls over the top and we were well beaten. It is difficult to analyze. I think it is better not to talk too much, and to analyze with a cooler head and regroup for the next game.
Although there is a second leg to come at the Emirates on March 6 that now appears a mere formality.
Let's be realistic. We don't play in a dream world. Maybe we have 2 percent or 5 percent [chance] statistically, The Guardian reported Wenger as saying.
The more immediate concern for Arsenal's beleaguered boss is to somehow resurrect his team both physically and mentally for what is a crucial next two games.
The Gunners travel to Sunderland in the FA Cup this weekend trying to preserve what is now there final chance this season to end the club's much-discussed trophy drought. The following weekend sees Arsenal facing local rivals Tottenham needing a win to restore some fan confidence and keep themselves on track to finish in the Champions League places in the league.