Arsene Wenger admitted to feeling ‘very, very hurt’ after Arsenal were dumped out of the Europa League by Atletico Madrid.
There was to be no fairytale ending for the Frenchman who will leave the club after 22 years without a European trophy as the Spanish side ground out a 1-0 victory (2-1 aggregate) at Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.
‘It is very, very sad but unfortunately you have to go through this in our game. It can be very cruel but sometimes it is nice. The suffering is very strong tonight,’ Wenger told sources.
He added: ‘It was a similar game to what we had in the first leg. The dangerous situations we created were there but we missed something in both boxes.
‘We played a good team and good luck to them in the final but we feel we did enough to go through. We didn’t manage the important moments of either game well.
‘We were 1-0 up with 10 minutes to go at home, and then we conceded a stupid goal. Tonight we looked OK and then conceded on the counter attack.
‘Atletico played with fear in the first half that if we score they could be out, but once they scored they played with a cushion. We lost possession and Diego Costa is one of the best strikers in the world.’
And the gloom grew ever darker with Wenger’s concession that Laurent Koscielny, who went off on a stretcher early on, looks like he will be sidelined for a long period of time.
The Arsenal boss added: ‘It is an achilles rupture and maybe we will have good news, but the first signs are not very good.’
Wenger’s final two games in charge come against Leicester and Huddersfield in the Premier League.