Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has dismissed suggestions that his team contrived a draw with Porto in the Champions League.
The teams needed a draw to reach the last 16 and both sat back in the latter stages of a dull goalless encounter.
“It was not a good advert for football,” said Wenger. “I think it only happened in the last five minutes but the game was very fair.
“Both teams tried and Porto until the 85th minute tried very hard to win.
“The result does not reflect the chances Porto had.
“I felt they took a lot of risks and it was very difficult to predict a 0-0. I concede we did not create a lot.
“Overall, I feel that it is normal in the last few minutes the teams do not take any gambles as if you concede a goal you are out.”
Wenger blamed his side’s lacklustre performance on their recent hectic schedule.
“Porto played well,” he said. “But we were a bit flat physically and maybe over-cautious when we won the ball.
“It was a nervous performance because we knew to go out would have been a massive disappointment.
“We didn’t go forward enough or give enough support to Emmanuel Adebayor.
“When you play every three days you can be less sharp sometimes.
“The good thing is we didn’t make any stupid mistakes despite having a young side, although we were lucky when they hit the post.”
Arsenal finished top of the group and Wenger feels this could be crucial when the competition recommences in February.
“Winning the group means playing the second game of the next round at home and in a knockout competition that’s important,” said Wenger.
“We needed to qualify and we did so even though we were missing some experienced players.
“Now we can put the Champions League into the cupboard until February and focus on the Premiership.”