Champions League: Wenger Hails Arsenal Character

Arsenal Manager, Arsene Wenger, has praised his team for showing good character after beating Borrusia Dortmund 2-0 to reach the last 16 of the Champions … Continue reading Champions League: Wenger Hails Arsenal Character


Wenger

WengerArsenal Manager, Arsene Wenger, has praised his team for showing good character after beating Borrusia Dortmund 2-0 to reach the last 16 of the Champions League for the 15th season in a row.

Three weeks after playing a 3-3 draw with Anderlecht after blowing a 3-0 lead at the Emirates, Arsenal went ahead in the second minute through Yaya Sanogo and made it 2-0 after 57 minutes through Alexis Sanchez.

“We had a good start and overall it was a very intense game between two very good teams where you had to fight for every ball and be focused. I felt we had a good combination between our usual passing game and our transition from defence to attack. We were highly focused to defend well together from the first to the last minute and we always looked dangerous. Defensively we were very good as well.

“We were more under pressure because on Saturday we played well but maybe we were victims of our generous attitude going forward. Here we had a bit more urgency to defend, especially when we were 1-0 up,” Wenger said.

On Yaya Sanogo’s goal, he said, “I think he played well. I decided tonight to go a bit longer from the start and he protected the ball well and won many challenges. He’s a young boy but he has presence, character and he’s naturally committed. He has a natural, aggressive attitude up front that is vital and very important.”

He also spoke on the plan on improving to make an impact in the last 16 where Arsenal in the last five or six years had always faced tougher teams who always got the better of them.

“From now until February, we need to improve as a team, get encouragement from tonight’s game and then hope we have nearly all our players back in the next round. You see who is qualified around Europe and there are many teams who are at the top, top level. There are three or four teams you don’t want to play.”

Wenger also noted that he would approach the last game aiming to win it as this would increase his chances of topping the group.

“I will try to win the last game and you never know. If Anderlecht win in Dortmund and we don’t win in Galatasaray you will say we were stupid. It’s unlikely, let’s say it’s 90 per cent that we will finish second and Dortmund will finish first.”

Arsenal have failed to go beyond the round of 16 in the last four years and Wenger said he would do things a little differently this season.