Thursday December 12 2013
Mertesacker: 'Arsenal lost by far'

Per Mertesacker admits Arsenal “lost by far” against Napoli and “were always on the back foot.”

The Gunners were beaten 2-0 at the Stadio San Paolo and scraped through in second place thanks to a single goal in the head-to-head record.

Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund and Napoli all finished top on 12 points, but Rafa Benitez’s men still went out of the Champions League.

“It's a strange atmosphere at the moment because we lost, by far, especially in the second half,” defender Mertesacker told Sky Sports.

“We were always on the back foot. We took a little break today, but we'll be back on Saturday.”

Napoli would have knocked Arsenal out had they won 3-0, while only a late Borussia Dortmund winner against Olympique Marseille allowed the Germans to stay in the competition.

“We gave 10 per cent less mentally because we were always thinking we were through. I think we were lucky today but we deserved to go through because we played a good group stage. Now we concentrate.

“We're second in the group for the draw next week.”

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