Arsene Wenger has admitted that Arsenal failed to perform in the second half of their Europa League final showdown with Chelsea FC last week.
After a goalless first half in Baku, the Gunners suffered a disappointing 4-1 loss to their local rivals as Olivier Giroud, Eden Hazard and Pedro Rodriguez found the net.
Substitute Alex Iwobi netted a consolation goal for the Gunners but the north London side were thoroughly outplayed as they were left facing another season in the Europa League.
The final was Arsenal’s last hope of securing a spot in the Champions League for next season.
Former Arsenal boss Wenger has now admitted that the Gunners failed to click into gear against the Blues, especially in the second half in Baku.
Speaking to beIN Sports, Wenger said: “I felt that in the first half we did quite alright but as soon as Chelsea scored the first goal we collapsed completely.
“In the second half we didn’t exist. It was a sad night for us.
“After that, I agree that until the quarter-final in the Europa League you play with a reserve team when you play in England because the Premier League is so demanding.
“I would say even in the Champions League group stage, when you have a difficult game over the weekend, sometimes even in the group stage because you’re close to qualifying.
“The Premier League is so difficult that until the quarter-final the teams play with [players] who do not play in the Premier League.
“I think in recent years it’s always the team who got knocked out in the Champions League group stage who won many, many years in the Europa League.”
Arsenal will now be focused on the summer transfer window and the players they will be able to bring in as they bid to try and revamp their squad ahead of next season.
The north London side finished in fifth place in the Premier League table and without a trophy in Unai Emery’s first campaign in charge of the club.