Wenger says gamble on Arshavin paid off in amazing style in historic defeat of Barca

Thursday, February 17, 2011

LONDON - Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has said that his massive gamble on Andrey Arshavin paid off in amazing style, as they beat Barcelona 2-1 in their first leg of Champions League encounter.

Arsenal came from behind to clinch an historic win over Champions League favourites Barcelona, after Robin van Persie and substitute Arshavin hit late goals.

“I wanted to really go for it. I took a gamble and we finished with Wilshere, Fabregas, Nasri, Bendtner, Arshavin and Van Persie,’ The Sun quoted Wenger, as saying.

“The tie is still open but we will go to the Nou Camp and play our game again because you cannot go there and defend. My gamble could have back-fired and we could lost 2-0 or 3-0 - but it worked,” he said.

“I am proud for Arsenal Football Club. Everyone urged us to play differently to our nature so it is a good result. This result gives us a chance to go to Barcelona with belief. We know it will be a very difficult game but we will prepare well. We will be highly focused and we go to win,” Wenger said.

“It is a special lift for my team. Our players have shown exceptional strength and togetherness. We took advantage of one special piece of skill from Van Persie and the second came after some good build-up play. It was a special night,” he added.

Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola said: “We started well and we had a lot of chances on goal. They did not have many clear ones. We needed to convert those chances in the second leg. I think, in general, though, I am happy with the performance. The result is the thing that I don’t like!” (ANI)

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