The north Londoners produced a professional performance to seal a comfortable 2-0 victory over Monaco at Stade Louis II on Tuesday night.
They’ve got all the class and all the ability compared to anyone else
However, Arsenal were unable to score a third goal which would have sent them through to the Champions League quarter-finals after a 3-1 first-leg defeat.
Former Gunners midfielder Nicholas believes long-serving manager Arsene Wenger must accept blame for a catastrophic performance at Emirates Stadium.
“Once again these players have turned up when the pressure was off them because they can just go for it,” Nicholas told Sky Sports.
“They need to start turning up when the pressure is on them. That’s why they don’t win big football matches domestically and that’s why they get put out against Monaco. I think the manager should get the brunt of it but not all of it.
“They’ve got all the class and all the ability compared to anyone else. They are probably the second-best team behind Barcelona when it’s fluent like this but why do they always have an Achilles heel like defending when it is the basic concept of the game?”
Olivier Giroud broke the deadlock against the Ligue 1 side in the 35th minute before Aaron Ramsey doubled the away side’s lead with 12 minutes remaining.
Arsenal have failed to get past the Champions League last 16 in the last five years after defeats by Porto, Barcelona, AC Milan and Bayern Munich (twice).
The Gunners are in third place in the Premier League table and are set to face Bradford City in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.
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