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Arsene Wenger slams ‘poor’ Arsenal performance and rules out Champions League progression after Milan thrashing

The Gunners fell to a 4-0 defeat at San Siro on Wednesday, with the Frenchman stating his side was 'never in the game' as Boateng, Robinho and Ibrahimovic were all on target

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has slammed his side's "poor" performance at San Siro on Wednesday as the Gunners were hammered 4-0 by AC Milan in their Champions League last-16 first leg clash.

Goals from Kevin-Prince Boateng, Robinho and Zlatan Ibrahimovic sealed victory and almost certainly progression for the Italian champions against a below-par Arsenal team.

"It's very difficult to take the performance we've given tonight," Wenger admitted to Sky Sports.

"Defeat can happen sometimes when you play well, but I felt that defensively, especially, offensively and as a unit, we were poor. We were beaten and never in the game. It's a big shock."

Wenger conceded that he could not help but be concerned by the way his side defended against Milan, with his team's goalmouth breached twice in both halves.

"It's a big concern because we were always in trouble with the same problems – [passes] over the top, slow reading the game, slow to respond, beaten in challenges – it was a big problem for us the whole night," he said.

"We have to take our pain and regroup for the next game."

Progression in the Champions League, Wenger added, would be almost impossible, but the Frenchman hoped his team could at least deliver an improved performance at home.

"Statistically, it's too big [a deficit to recover from]," he said.

"We'll try, but there is very little hope there. The result is massive for them – a massive advantage and very difficult to turn around.

"We'll give it our best and I feel that we can't be worse than tonight, anyway."

Center back Laurent Koscielny was withdrawn due to injury in the first half, adding to Arsenal's injury problems in defense, with Per Mertesacker suffering ankle ligament damage against Sunderland in the Premier League on Saturday.

"I don't know [how bad it is]," Wenger said. "It looks like a knee problem, but I haven't spoken to the medical people yet.

"He is certainly out for the weekend, and that's another injury in defense. We lost Mertesacker, we lose Koscielny tonight, and that's a big concern."

The 62-year-old would not be drawn into blaming the officials for the loss, with Johan Djourou penalized for fouling Ibrahimovic in the penalty area in the second half. The Swede also appeared to create Milan's second goal from an offside position.

"I haven't seen [the penalty] well," Wenger said. "It looked generous.

"I was more concerned with the offside for the second goal, but we were in position to change the game very early – we lost balls where you cannot afford to do so and at this level, it's always exposed."

I don't know [how bad it is]. It looks like a knee problem, but I haven't spoken to the medical people yet. He is certainly out for the weekend, and that's another injury in defence. We lost Mertesacker, we lose Koscielny tonight, and that's a big concern.

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