Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Arsene Wenger Hails Arsenal's 'Greatest Escape' As Gunners Qualify For Champions League Last 16

Arsene Wenger has heaped praises on Arsenal’s “perfect” Champions League triumph as one of his greatest ever European nights.

Gunners striker Olivier Giroud scored a hat trick to put Arsenal into the knockout stages and complete a remarkable fight-back after the disastrous start to their European campaign.
Job done: Wenger hailed his side's display
Job done: Wenger hailed his side's display
Wenger said: “We had the perfect game. I told you before the game that it would be the ‘greatest escape’ but I must say I am very proud of the team because we needed to be right on the mental side and the tactical side as well.

“It is a fantastic achievement for us. Not many people gave us a chance. But we are a real team. We are very close the in dressing room and could see this today.

“This was one of the best performances we have given in Europe. The kind of performance we had tonight was absolutely outstanding.
Arsenal's Olivier Giroud celebrates with the match ball after scoring a hat trick at the end of the match
Arsenal's Olivier Giroud celebrates with the match ball after scoring a hat trick at the end of the match
“Of course you don’t need to single Olivier out tonight because he scored the goals but he has shown character as well. The penalty was important and I am happy for him because he did well.”

The Arsenal manager also says the victory - Arsenal needed to win by two clear goals to overhaul Olympiakos and qualify for the knock out stages - could even be a lucky omen for the rest of the season.

Arsenal can now get Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Zenit St Petersburg, Wolfsburg and Barcelona in Monday’s Champions League draw.

Wenger added: “This result makes us stronger and strengthens our belief. It’s a special night we were in escape mode before the game and we needed something special.

“When you do that it creates a positive memory for rest of the season. Maybe it is a lucky year for us in Champions League. You never know.

Arsenal's Olivier Giroud celebrates scoring the second goal
Arsenal's Olivier Giroud celebrates scoring the second goal
“We’ll see who we get next round. I’ve not even looked at that. We were so much out of it that I put all my focus on staying in.”

Hat trick hero Giroud added: “It is fantastic for me and the team, we are really pleased to go through.

"We missed the chance a few years ago and last year against Monaco so it is nice to go through. We are very pleased for the fans and feel really good.

“We are really pleased to have done this now and focus on the Premier League to carry on our good momentum.

“We want to go as far as we can and the target is maybe to reach at least the quarter final personally and I think that's the same for the team. It's the fourth year I have been here and I have never played in a quarter-final.”

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