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Per Mertesacker: 'Arsenal a long way from winning Champions League'

Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker admits that the club are a long way from challenging for European honours following their Champions League exit at the hands of Monaco.

Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker has admitted that his team are a long way from winning the Champions League following their exit from the competition at the hands of AS Monaco last night.

The Gunners almost created Champions League history at the Stade Louis II, but fell a goal short in their quest to overturn a 3-1 deficit from the first leg.

Mertesacker acknowledged that his side lacked the "mental level" needed on the big stage at the Emirates last month, which ultimately cost them a place in the quarter-finals.

"It is difficult after such a performance like that to think, 'yeah, we missed that,'" the German defender told the London Evening Standard.

"In the first game, we didn't have that mental level you need to compete at the highest level. That was missing but you could see last night how good we are as a team and how well organised we can be.

"We need to consider that every day in training and in games. That is why we are so far away from winning the Champions League."

Arsenal have now been knocked out in the last 16 of Europe's premier club competition five years in a row.

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Per Mertesacker of Arsenal celebrates at the end of the UEFA Champions League Qualifier 2nd leg match between Arsenal and Besiktas at the Emirates Stadium on August 27, 2014
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