Arsenal boss targets Galatasaray victory in case Dortmund slip up
- Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images
Arsene Wenger says Arsenal must go all out for victory in their final Champions League group match despite already clinching qualification for the last 16.
The Gunners beat Group D leaders Borussia Dortmund 2-0 on Tuesday to make certain of second place – but they could yet sneak into top spot in the final round of games next month.
Wenger’s side travel to winless Galatasaray – who are already out of the running for even Europa League football – and victory could lift them above Dortmund if the Germans slip up against Anderlecht on the same night.
The Arsenal boss said: “It will depend a little bit on what happens in the next few games. But I will try to win the last game and you never know.
“If Anderlecht win in Dortmund and we don’t beat Galatasaray, we will feel stupid. But I think it’s 90 per cent certain we will finish second and Dortmund first.
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“From now until [the first knockout round in] February we must improve as a team, get encouragement from this game and hope we have nearly all our players back.
“Look who has qualified around Europe, there are many teams who are top level.”
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Wenger’s side were quick out of the blocks against Dortmund, with Yaya Sanogo firing them into a second-minute lead with his first competitive goal for the club.
Arsenal were on top for most of the game and Alexis Sanchez curled in an exquisite goal 12 minutes into the second half to clinch the points and end Dortmund’s 100 per cent record in the group.
“I think he [Sanogo] played well,” added Wenger. “He protected the ball well and he won many challenges. He’s a young boy but he has presence and character and he’s naturally committed – that natural aggressive attitude up front is vital.
“It was a very intense game between two good teams and I felt we had a good combination, we were highly focused to defend well together from the first to the last minute.”
However, Wenger also revealed that the victory had given him two more injury headaches ahead of his side’s next Premier League game, away to West Brom on Saturday.
Captain Mikel Arteta limped off with a recurrence of his calf problem, while Sanogo was also substituted late in the game due to a hamstring strain.