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Arsenal attitude spot on for Wenger

Published: Wednesday 19 August 2009, 17.08CET
Arsenal FC manager Arsène Wenger praised his side's "fantastic attitude" in the 2-0 win at Celtic FC which saw them establish a commanding lead in their UEFA Champions League play-off.
by Alex O'Henley
from Celtic Park
Arsenal attitude spot on for Wenger
Arsenal celebrate their second goal ©Getty Images

Match statistics

CelticArsenal

Goals scored0
2
Attempts on target1
 
4
Attempts off target1
 
4
Corners3
 
2
Offsides3
 
3
Fouls committed16
 
9
Yellow cards3
 
1
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

 
Published: Wednesday 19 August 2009, 17.08CET

Arsenal attitude spot on for Wenger

Arsenal FC manager Arsène Wenger praised his side's "fantastic attitude" in the 2-0 win at Celtic FC which saw them establish a commanding lead in their UEFA Champions League play-off.

Arsenal FC manager Arsène Wenger praised his side's "fantastic attitude" after a 2-0 victory away to Celtic FC ensured they established a commanding lead in their UEFA Champions League play-off.

'Great togetherness'
William Gallas's deflected opener and a Gary Caldwell own goal put the London side in command ahead of next Wednesday's return and continued the Gunners' superb start to the season following Saturday's 6-1 win at Everton FC. "I believe we have a fantastic attitude, a great togetherness and we put relentless pressure on Celtic," Wenger said. "We never let them establish a flow and we always disturbed their game very well.

'Fierce battle'
"It was a fierce battle. I felt collectively we dominated the game but Celtic were always willing, fighting and counterattacking. In the end, despite being in control, we scored two lucky goals. It was a big fight tonight and we needed a strong Arsenal side to win the game. The crowd and players were absolutely up for it and I believe with an average performance we would not have won. We are in a strong position and we now want to take advantage of that."

'Great result'
Arsenal striker Robin van Persie felt the key moment came two minutes from half-time when a Cesc Fàbregas free-kick bounced off Gallas's back as he tried to get out of the way and bounced in off the post with goalkeeper Artur Boruc wrong-footed. "Credit to Celtic they played really well, especially in the first half, but if you score just before half-time it makes it very difficult for the opposition," Van Persie told uefa.com. "The goal settled us and we kept going in the second half until we got another. It was a great result for us."

'Looking good'
Arsenal's victory means they are the first British team to beat Celtic in Glasgow since Brian Clough led Nottingham Forest FC to a 2-1 UEFA Cup third round win in 1983/84. And while Van Persie is taking nothing for granted as far as next week's second leg is concerned, the Dutch striker is quietly confident Arsenal will extend their run of eleven consecutive group stage appearances. Assessing Celtic's challenge, he said: "Nothing's impossible but it's looking good for us definitely."

'Bad luck'
Celtic defender Glenn Loovens, meanwhile, knows his team now have a mountain to climb. "They didn't create many chances, but on the ball they were much better than us," Loovens told uefa.com. "Defensively we weren't giving much away and the two goals we gave away were just bad luck. On another day that game might have ended 0-0 but it wasn't meant to be. We must always be hopeful. There's still another game to play and hopefully we can get an early goal and get something out of the game. "It's going to be very tough but stranger things have happened in football."

It's going to be very tough but stranger things have happened in football
Glenn Loovens
Last updated: 19/08/09 13.43CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2010/matches/round=2000027/match=2000350/postmatch/quotes/index.html#arsenal+attitude+spot+wenger

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