Arsenal now know how Bayern Munich felt last season. They played with a dimmed intensity, with Per Mertesacker conceding they gave 10% less.
While they beat Bayern 2-0 but still lost on away goals, this time the roles were reverse as Napoli beat the Gunners but were eliminated on goal difference.
The club's record signing Mesut Ozil wasn't on hand to experience their near miss last season, who knows if he had they may even have done enough to qualify.
He used social networking site Twitter to comment after the match, admitting how difficult the game had been, but importantly stated it felt like a victory.
Sometimes a lost game can be like a Victory. Tough game.— Mesut Özil (@MesutOzil1088) December 11, 2013
Ozil was unable to exert his usual influence on proceedings. He touched the ball just 66 times, only eight more than goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny. He was also able to complete only 79 per cent of his passes and create just one goalscoring chance.
However his attitude seems spot on and bodes well for Arsenal. If they are treating this not as a defeat, and disappointment to finish second, but as a victory.
If they are confident they can beat anybody playing at the top of their game then the loss doesn't really matter.
A positive attitude to take into the next crucial games against Manchester City and Chelsea is vital, and Ozil has it. It could just be the difference maker.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald