Arsenal boss targets group win AND long run in Champions League

The main reason for Arsenal wanting to finish on top of the Champions League group, apart from ending the frustration of coming second for six years in a row, is to be in pot one when the draw for the knockout stage is made and hopefully get an easier route through to the latter stages.

The Gunners have already secured a place in the next round after Mesut Ozil hit that late winner away to Ludogorets Razgrad, but Arsene Wenger has called on his players to ensure that we do not mess it up at home to the French champions PSG, with any win enough to guarantee us top spot.

The manager told the Arsenal website, “I believe that the two teams have done the job until now. We have done what was expected and we have done it away from home, now we can finish the job at home.

“Of course we want to do it. We played a draw there and it’s just down to us to win the game there.

“[Topping the group would mean] that we have done the job until the end in a convincing way. When you play 1-1 away from home and then you play at home it’s a luxury to be qualified after four games.

“Last year we had to battle until the end and this season we could finish the job after five games. That would mean we have done really well.”

If the boss is right then top spot might be just the start of a good run in the competition that we have struggled to get any further in of late, as have most EPL team. Wenger thinks that the English clubs are now set up to compete more and the recent victory for Man City against Barcelona shows that.

He said, “I feel that, yes.

“Man City winning against Barcelona, we have an opportunity to show it against Paris Saint-Germain.

“Everywhere you go, the difference in the Champions League, the teams all play football. In the Premier league, even if you have 80 per cent possession, you can still lose the game. The pressure on the Premier League games is today massive in the Premier League.

“I must say that I watched Real Madrid against Atletico Madrid on Saturday and I was impressed by them. They looked at the moment to be the most dangerous side.

“We want to show that we can beat any style of team. That’s what we have done since the start of the season. Wednesday we play a team with a different style; a team who play possession, slow and quick.

“We have to show that we can cope with that because they play a lot of possession and then suddenly they play quick with Edinson Cavani, Lucas Moura, they can accelerate a game.

“We have to show we can deal with that style, a different style to what we are used to. In England, we always play with power.”

Do you think the Gunners will cope with this different European style of football and prove Wenger right about this being a better year for Arsenal in the Champions League?

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