Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal, bounced back in spectacular form, after four losses on a trot, to register a vital away win in the UEFA Europa League. Arsenal took on AC Milan in the first leg of the round of 16 match yesterday. AC Milan were the strong favorites coming into the match. Milan were on an unbeaten streak of 13 matches, and had not conceded a single goal in their last six matches. However, goals from Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Aaron Ramsey (2-0), snapped their unbeaten streak, and with it their hopes of progressing further into the Europa league.
Arsene Wenger, who was under a heavy barrage of criticism, silenced his critics with a clinical performance. “At some stage, you need to respond and respond together with a good performance. That’s what we did tonight,” said Wenger. Wenger, however, is aware of the mammoth task at home next week.
“We have won again but we have not qualified. The result will lift the belief in the team again. When you lose three games in six days, it’s always very difficult.”We want to keep our focus and finish the job next week. That’s what the target is.”
Wenger also hit back at the backlash he received after his defeat in the Carabao Cup final.
“I spoke about the cup final but people forget that to get to the cup final in England, you need mental resources and you need mental qualities,” said Wenger.
“We lost against a team who are dominating English football at the moment, and it was unexplainable.”
Meanwhile, AC Milan will have an uphill task when they visit the Emirates next week. While Gennaro Gattuso, praised Arsenal for their gutsy show, he also admonished his team’s lacklustre performance.
“We knew this was going to be a very difficult match,” Gattuso said after the match.
“Arsenal were coming off a tough moment, but have enormous quality at their disposal, while we made too many mistakes. We never played like a united team and Arsenal deserved the victory.”