The official website for European football

Wenger savours Arsenal's 'special night'

Published: Thursday 17 February 2011, 0.13CET
The superlatives flowed from Arsène Wenger and Josep Guardiola after Arsenal FC beat FC Barcelona in an absorbing contest though both stressed this is merely half-time in the last-16 tie.

This content is streamed in such a way that it is protected and available only in a Flash format. Your device seems not to be compatible with our Flash video player.

Match statistics

ArsenalBarcelona

Goals scored2
 
1
Attempts on target7
 
5
Attempts off target3
 
3
Corners4
 
1
Offsides3
 
8
Fouls committed16
 
13
Yellow cards4
 
2
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

 
Published: Thursday 17 February 2011, 0.13CET

Wenger savours Arsenal's 'special night'

The superlatives flowed from Arsène Wenger and Josep Guardiola after Arsenal FC beat FC Barcelona in an absorbing contest though both stressed this is merely half-time in the last-16 tie.

Arsenal FC manager Arsène Wenger and FC Barcelona counterpart Josep Guardiola were united in praise after their sides' meeting in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 lived up to its high billing. "Special" and "fantastic" were among their superlatives after the Gunners' 2-1 win, but they stressed this is merely half-time ahead of the second leg in Spain on 8 March. Indeed, the unflinching Guardiola retains "a lot of faith" in his players.

It was one of those special nights and we needed to be a special team. The game promised a lot and it didn't disappoint
Arsène Wenger
We dominated and more or less controlled the game. It's a pity that we lost but these things happen in football
Josep Guardiola

Arsène Wenger, Arsenal manager
It was one of those special nights and we needed to be a special team. The game promised a lot and it didn't disappoint. It was a game between two special teams in my opinion. We suffered at times but we never gave up and kept mentally strong. I feel when you play Barcelona, you are always on the border of collapsing against them because you can be punished severely for mental mistakes. It's still open – it's exciting.

It's open, we of course will go to Camp Nou and play our game again because we cannot go there and defend, especially us. It's exciting and confidence-wise we will grow because we won tonight. But we will go and give our best. You have seen similar actions on both sides and the [second] goal was fantastic. Overall it was a great night for all our fans.

Josep Guardiola, Barcelona coach
It was a fantastic game with chances for both teams. Arsenal are always a good side – they are tough and strong. We dominated and more or less controlled the game. It's a pity that we lost but these things happen in football. We know how good Arsenal are and just how well they can play on the counterattack. This is European competition and we are only too aware of the high level of the opponents at this stage. I admire Arsenal's style.

We created more chances than in the first leg last year, but they are very good when they press; they have the ability to find the gaps. They've been setting an example for years now. I felt we competed well and were better than in previous Champions League away games against Stuttgart or Lyon, for example.

Now we have to think about turning this around in the second leg with the help of our supporters. I have a lot of faith in my players so let's see how we get on. It was important to score an away goal and we did that tonight. We're without [the suspended Gerard] Piqué for the second leg so we hope that [Carles] Puyol will have recovered from injury by then.

Last updated: 27/11/12 5.58CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2011/matches/round=2000119/match=2003758/postmatch/quotes/index.html#wenger+savours+special+night

  • © 1998-2014 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The CHAMPIONS LEAGUE and UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE words, the UEFA Champions League logo and trophy and the UEFA Champions League Final logos are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of UEFA.com signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.