Nov 26, 2015

    Wenger: Arsenal's great escape on track


    ARSENE Wenger insists Arsenal will complete their Champions League escape act by securing the result they need against Olympiakos to reach the last 16.

    His side kept alive their hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages for the 16th successive year thanks to an inspired display from Alexis Sanchez in Tuesday's crucial 3-0 win over Dinamo Zagreb.

    The Gunners would have been eliminated if they had failed to beat the Croatians at the Emirates Stadium or if Olympiakos got a draw against Bayern Munich.

    Fortunately for Wenger, both results went Arsenal's way and they will now head to Greece for a qualification shoot-out with Olympiakos in their final Group F fixture on Dec 9.

    Olympiakos were trounced 4-0 by Bayern on Tuesday.

    The Londoners must win by at least a two-goal margin or win by a one-goal margin having scored three or more goals and Wenger is convinced they will rise to the challenge.

    "What we wanted is to come out of the game with a chance to qualify. We had to do our job and Bayern had to do theirs," Wenger said.

    "How big the chance to qualify is, I don't know but I believe we can do it.

    "First of all we need to win. It might not be enough to just do that but if you lead 1-0 you can win 2-0.

    "One advantage is the task is very clear. Of course it is vital to score the first goal."

    While he is confident of Arsenal's progress, he knows his team have lost on their last three visits to Olympiakos in the Champions League and this time the always-volatile Greek fans will be even more fired up.

    The Gunners boss expects a hostile atmosphere but he doesn't believe it will get out of hand. "You have to trust Uefa and the organisation over there to ensure it is handled well."

    If Arsenal are to silence the Olympiakos crowd, they will need another influential performance from Sanchez, who set up Mesut Oezil's opener against Dinamo and then scored twice himself.

    Wenger was delighted with Sanchez's latest masterclass.

    "Alexis is a very important player," he said, adding: "We played at a good pace and produced a game of quality that we wanted.

    "The speed of our passing and movement gave Zagreb a problem. We had a game of quality and control."