Arsenal may have won in Belgium, but their poor performance did not seem to impress Anderlecht’s players.
Anderlecht midfielder Steven Defour has dismissed Arsenal’s style as one-dimensional and claimed that Borussia Dortmund were far more impressive.
The Gunners went a goal behind in Belgium and looked set for a catastrophic defeat, before late goals from Kieran Gibbs and Lukas Podolski saved the three points.
“Arsenal were hoping for a moment of brilliance from Alexis Sanchez or Danny Welbeck and didn’t have many runners from midfield,” Defour told Goal.
“Three weeks ago Dortmund outplayed us and we have to accept they were the better team.”
While the criticism could simply be dismissed as frustration, many fans of the North Londoers will sympathise with the ex-FC Porto midfielder’s views. They have been heavily reliant on Alexis Sanchez to break down tough defences, and Danny Welbeck’s late goals have saved them repeatedly this season.
Anderlecht had more shots than Arsene Wenger’s team, who did not dominate their hosts by any means, despite the imbalance in the quality and experience between the squads.
Defour’s fellow midfielder Dennis Praet, who had an excellent game, claimed that the English side were only able to break the Belgians down in the end because the young team had tired:
“I don’t think Arsenal created many chances… that makes it all the more disappointing that you concede two late goals. We lost focus towards the end and fatigue kicked in,” Praet said.
Wenger’s men lie second in the group behind Dortmund, who have put aside their disappointing league form and won their three European group games without conceding. The Gunners must now prepare for a double-header against the in-form Germans.