LUCKY ARSENAL WIN ROUND ONE

Two lucky goals, but a deserved victory for Arsenal means they have on boot in the Champions League proper.

Arsenal look very likely to secure their place in the Champions League group stages after beating Celtic 2-0 in the first leg of this tie.

Celtic didn’t make life easy for Arsenal, looking determined and energetic.

It was just before half time when the deadlock was broken. Cesc Fabregas shot from a free kick which took a wicked deflection off the back of William Gallas and the ball edged into the corner of the net past Artur Boruc.

Arsenal always looked the more likely to score the next goal, but again had to rely on a stroke of luck to extend the scoreline. This time Celtic skipper Gary Caldwell turned the ball into his own net in the 71st minute after Clichy crossed from the right.

It mean Celtic will have to score twice in the second leg at the Emirates Stadium to have any hope of progressing.

Arsene Wenger:

arsenal 2 0 celtic'  We were lucky with the goals we scored, though we were in control for 90 minutes.

I felt it was a fierce fight where Celtic gave everything.

It was a real cup game and we had to have mental strength to come through that. Their energy was sensational. They stopped us every time so we couldn’t get into the flow.


Defensively, they did well and they never dropped their heads. We lacked a little but had our usual quality in the final third.

We are ahead after 90 minutes and now we have to make sure we are ahead after 180.

Tony Mowbray:

arsenal 2 0 celtic'  We struggled to pass the ball against very high pressure and I think Arsenal really gave us a lesson with the ball and without the ball.

It was a frustrating night. There were a lot of disappointed players in our dressing room with their own performances.

I think we stopped them generally and I don’t think they created many chances if any first half, so the game plan was working but, the goal sort of knocks the stuffing out of you a little bit.

I’ve just said to the players, ‘Don’t be too disappointed – they’re a top, top team. They’re expected to get to finals and semi-finals of the Champions League every year’.

It’s hard to take but we’ve got to go there next week and score the first goal.

If we do that, it might make it interesting.


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