Wenger: Arsenal can do something special in Monaco

Arsenal trail 3-1 to their French hosts, whom they face again on Tuesday night, but the Gunners boss welcomes the challenge of overturning the deficit


Arsene Wenger believes that Arsenal have what it takes to avenge the “big mistake” that they made in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against Monaco.

The Gunners head to southern France looking to overcome a 3-1 deficit and avoid exiting the Champions League at this stage for the fifth consecutive occasion.

And Wenger is eager to “create something special” in Monaco, rejecting the suggestion that being labelled ‘gallant losers’ was a crumb of comfort.

“That’s not what you want; you want to qualify,” he responded when the notion was put forward by the press.

“We have got it wrong in the first game. What you want in life is the chance to put it right. We have the opportunity to put it right and after, no matter what, we will be ready to give everything to do it.

“We are in a position where Monaco are favourites. We can go there and create something special. I believe we will have the desire to do it.

“Honestly, I’d prefer to be 3-0 up [but] we have no choice. We have to put it right. Sometimes in life, you make a big mistake and there’s no comeback, no way you get the chance to put it right again. In football, you can do it so let’s just give everything.

“Is all the pressure on Monaco? They can lose it. They’ve already won it but they can still lose it.”

Arsenal have hit a purple patch lately, finding themselves just a point off second-placed Manchester City, and Wenger will hope that they can carry their form into the Champions League.

And the Gunners boss responded to comments made by Dimitar Berbatov in the aftermath of the first-leg loss, where the Bulgarian suggested that Monaco had greater desire than their north London hosts.

“We have enough experience to know that what happens on Tuesday night does not depend on statement of people but just depends on our performance on the night,” Wenger remarked.

“I don’t believe that [Monaco wanted it more than Arsenal]. I think we wanted too much to make a difference in the first game and forgot our basics.”

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