Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted that his team lacked urgency as they were made to fight hard to book their spot in the last four of the Europa League against CSKA Moscow on Thursday night.
The Gunners who were boasting of a 4-1 lead from the first leg fell two goals behind on the night courtesy of goals by Fedor Chalov and Kirill Nababkin.
Danny Welbeck halted the CSKA comeback with a well-taken goal on 75 minutes, Arsenal’s first shot on target on the night.
Aaron Ramsey then scored in stoppage time to seal a 2-2 draw, sending Arsenal through 6-3 on aggregate.
“You could see when you have a big difference after the first game it is difficult to turn up with the same urgency than if the difference is very small and that played a part in the first half,” the Frenchman said after the game.
“I felt in the two games, they (CSKA) played well, especially tonight they made my heart beat much quicker than I expected it to be.
“We played against a good team. I knew that after the first game and they showed that again tonight, they gave us many problems.”
Wenger would not be drawn on his preferred semi-final opponent, with Atletico Madrid, Marseille, and Red Bull Salzburg lurking in Friday’s draw.
“Looking at all the results as a whole picture in Europe this week, you would say that teams have become closer and the games are very open and everything is possible in every single game,” he added.
“Everybody speaks about Atletico Madrid that they look the strongest team on paper but you must say when you look at the results that Salzburg have done again.
“I am from France and Marseille are in there as well and that is always a difficult place to go, maybe it is better that I don’t wish for anybody.”