Arsene Wenger claimed that it was the perfect display from his players after they managed to do the unimaginable by qualifying for the Champions League last 16 by the skin of their teeth.
Arsenal looked seemingly out of the group stages just after they suffered two back-to-back defeats at the start of the campaign. These two defeats looked even worse when considering that title favourites Bayern Munich were the opponents in the next two games. Arsenal were not expected to even get a point against the German team in these two games. A huge lifeline came in the form of a shock win over Bayern at the Emirates stadium.
This coupled with other results going their way meant that Arsenal went into the last group game still with a chance to qualify for the last 16. Olympiakos, meanwhile, had the simple task of holding onto even a draw. Arsenal had to win by two or more goals in order to stand any chance of qualification. They comfortably achieved this target with goals from Olivier Giroud being a crucial factor. The Frenchman scored a hat-trick just at the time when it mattered the most for the gunners, who will now look towards the knockout round.
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Arsene Wenger believes if his team manages to get better of Bayern Munich for the second time in the ongoing season, they would send a strong message to the Football fraternity that they’re growing into a really strong side.
Arsenal defeated Bayern Munich by 2-0 in a Champions League affair at home the previous month.
Olivier Giroud and Mesut Ozil got onto the score sheet in that game, and it is this form by Ozil that has led to him being strongly tipped for a move to Barcelona by the Transfer Rumours website.
That win, however, was not enough for the Gunners to be able to move up from the last position in Group F. They are still there with only 3 points in their kitty in as many games.
However, their position can improve significantly if they manage to repeat that Emirates feat at Allianz Arena on the coming Wednesday.
Ahead of that potential cracker, Wenger was quoted saying to the media, “Bayern is and always has been a tough team to beat. They are strong in all departments, but, if we sneak past them this time around too, it would be a message to everybody out there that the Gunners are making strides.”
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Arsene Wenger has accused Diego Costa of foul play in the recent 2-0 defeat against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
It was yet another poor result for Wenger against José Mourinho, but the result left a bad taste in the Frenchman’s mouth due to the refereeing decisions that largely went against his team. Arsenal were reduced to 9 men by the end of the game and they had played for the entire second half without defender Gabriel, who was sent off due to his involvement in a fight with Costa. The Chelsea striker, though, received only a yellow card for his actions.
Replays showed that Gabriel deliberately stuck his studs into Costa and this earned him a red card. The Chelsea striker, meanwhile, was seen having his hands on defender Laurent Koscielny at the start of the incident. Wenger admitted that Gabriel received a red card largely because of his naivety. Costa used it to his advantage and dragged the defender into a battle that ultimately resulted in the red card. Wenger says that even if an opponent spits during the game, players should not take the bait and instead focus on remaining on the pitch.
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Celtic go into the midweek match against Kilmarnock knowing that they can extend their lead in the Scottish Premier League to a very healthy eight points with the victory.
Currently, their lead over Aberdeen is only five points although the opposition have played a game more. Despite this comfortable position, Celtic boss Ronny Deila says that it would be unwise to dismiss Aberdeen out of the title race just yet. The club are on course to winning a treble this campaign. Apart from the league title, Celtic also have their focus on the Scottish cup. They will be up against Inverness in the semi-finals of the competition.
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has been trying to use mind games in the last few days. He was first to suggest that Celtic are almost certainties for the title despite his team closing the gap to 5 points. Since there are only two matches left for Celtic, they can seal the title with at least one win from the two matches. Their final game of the league campaign sees them take on Dundee United away from home. Celtic have already sealed the League Cup and this took a lot of pressure of a from manager Ronny Deila, who is at Celtic in his first season.
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Arsenal striker Danny Welbeck has stated that his move to the gunners has been a crucial reason behind his good form for the England national team. Since the move to the Emirates stadium, Welbeck has been playing more consistently. Even though he has been shifted out wide after the return of Olivier Giroud, the fact that he has been a regular starter has helped him improve his match sharpness. This was clearly evident in the recent friendly matches against Lithuania and Italy. Welbeck scored in the 4-0 win over Lithuania and it helped him become the top scoring qualification stages with six goals from just five games.
Reflecting on this good run of form, Welbeck says that he is not surprised with the fact that he is scoring more regularly. After a mediocre start to his Arsenal career, Welbeck continues to be the foil for Giroud. He has scored only eight goals in 28 appearances for Arsenal in all competitions, which is a record that does not screen of quality. However, most of Welbeck’s goals have come in crucial matches and he has been an excellent signing at just £16 million. Recently, he scored against his former club Manchester United in the 2-1 victory for the gunners.
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The winter transfer window was shut down a few weeks ago but this doesn’t stop the rumors from pouring in involving the future of certain players and Arsenal is believed to be interested in signing a few players from different leagues around the world.
Edinson Cavani of PSG is a constant topic of discussion as the Uruguayan attacker is rumored to be leaving the French club at the end of the season. At this point in the season Cavani has made 22 appearances and scored 8 goals which just isn’t good enough for a player that was acquired for a transfer fee in the region of €64 million.
Another player who is on the radar of Arsenal and Arsene Wenger is Palermo’s Paulo Dybala who at the age of 21 is already being compared to Sergio Aguero due to their playing style being similar.
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The Premier League has not even reached its midway point but already there are certain clubs that are so far away from the top spot that it’s almost impossible for them to have any hope of winning the Premier League title of this season.
In the previous season of the Premier League, Liverpool snatched the 2nd spot and was only 2 points away from winning the league however in this season things have taken a huge turn as the team of Brendan Rodgers would be grateful if they are even able of securing a Europa League spot.
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