Published: Fri, March 09, 2018
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Arsene Wenger admits players' confidence crumbled ahead of AC Milan clash

Arsene Wenger admits players' confidence crumbled ahead of AC Milan clash

The Frenchman has been under increasing pressure following a dismal start to 2018, with the club's supporters calling for his sacking during Sunday's 2-1 defeat at Brighton - a fourth consecutive loss.

Wenger's men will have to beat AC Milan over two legs in the Europa League round of 16 tie to stand a chance of making Arsenal's dream of being in next season's Champions League a reality.

Here, Press Association Sport focuses on Wenger's impact on the last-16 first leg.

However, that was with a large number of Arsenal fans hugely disappointed at underachieving during this era in the life of their Club.

The Germany playmaker assisted both Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Aaron Ramsey to put Arsenal in the driving seat in their Europa League clash against AC Milan.

It also showcases what can happen to a club when a bad situation is allowed to cultivate over an extended period, rather than be snuffed out at the source, and that however good or bad things may be at a club - however breathtaking or mediocre a team's current phase may feel - they can always get much, much worse.

Fiorentina player, Milan Badelj, lead the tributes by saying that "you are the brother or the son that everyone would want to have".

"I'm not surprised to see him coaching - he was already studying a lot of tactics and opponents as a player".

There are reports suggesting that there is one underlying reason why Arsenal's players are furious with manager Arsene Wenger.

"The top four is out of the question now", Parlour said.

Of course, Arsenal could bring their A game, Milan could have an off day, and it could end up 2-0, as well; the optimist in me would love that, but we shall see.

"That's what Arsenal will do now".

It seems inevitable that Unai Emery will be on his way out of PSG in the summer following the club's failure to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League. The Armenia worldwide ensured it did not go to waste, maintaining his fine Europa League goalscoring record with a little help from a Leonardo Bonucci deflection.

Arsenal need a big performance from Mesut Ozil, whose dip in form has coincided with the crisis-stricken few games for the Gunners. "It's certainly hard when we go through a patch like this".

Milan tried to up the tempo after the break, wasting a clear early chance to pull one back when Giacomo Bonaventura spooned over the bar.

Brazilian defender Marcelo scored the only goal as last season's semi-finalists Lyon grabbed a 1-0 win at CSKA Moscow, as they look to go one better this term with the final at their Groupama Stadium.

In his short and quixotic managerial career to date, Gattuso has made headlines for slapping his assistant on the touchline, for asking his own players to slap him and for a freakish expletive-ridden post-match press conference (see video below). "The players don't want any particular manager to come in - some speak about Thierry Henry, Carlo Ancelotti and even Rafa Benitez - but they are really frustrated", says the report.

"We are disappointed with how we played".

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