Arsenal FC manager Arsène Wenger was pleased that his side's two goals in their UEFA Champions League victory at AC Sparta Praha came from midfield areas.
Cesc Fabregas and Aleksandr Hleb scored in the later stages of the third qualifying round first-leg tie to strengthen Arsenal's group-stage claim and help fulfil Wenger's promise for the new season. "I am glad the midfielders scored both goals – it was our aim before the season to increase our strike rate from midfield," he said. "We are close to the Champions League but it was a difficult 90 minutes here because Sparta were able to block our play, particularly in the first half. We improved after the restart when we got more space."
Sparta coach Michal Bílek said that Arsenal's ability to convert chances was the main difference between the teams. "We played a well-balanced game but we were unlucky in that we did not profit from our opportunities," he said. "This is what separated the sides. After half-time we made two mistakes which enabled Arsenal to score from counterattacks. Our chances are very slim before the return leg as they will play even better at home." The second match takes place in London on 29 August.
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