FK Partizan coach Aleksandar Stanojević and his opposite number Arsène Wenger hailed a special atmosphere in Belgrade, and agreed that Arsenal FC were deserved winners.
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FK Partizan coach Aleksandar Stanojević was delighted to see UEFA Champions League football back in Belgrade, not so the red card to Marko Jovanović which left his team facing "mission impossible" against Arsenal FC. The Gunners ran out 3-1 winners, boosting confidence ahead of another vital match against Chelsea FC at the weekend.
Aleksandar Stanojević, Partizan coach
That was a really nice occasion. It was a pleasure to see a Champions League match in our city and country. However, it's hard to explain in a good way how I saw the game. It was difficult for us when we had 11 players; with ten it was mission impossible. Arsenal are a brilliant team yet we showed in some moments that we really could be equal, but after Jovanović's red card everything changed.
I had a plan before the red card to make a change which would have made us much more attacking and fresh, but afterwards I had to send on a defender and lost the chance to make some tactical changes. When we lost the player, we lost the game. It's tough being on zero points, but we'll continue our battle for third place and the next matches [away and home against SC Braga] will be vital for us. Finally I want to say a huge thank you to our supporters who gave us special energy – I believe they enjoyed a good night of football.
Arsène Wenger, Arsenal manager
Partizan gave us the game we expected – full of commitment, full of power on every break. We had a lot of the ball and created a lot of chances. However, we could not kill the game off and then we were always under threat. They came back with the penalty. Afterwards we needed to keep the pace high and when we got the second goal I thought we looked comfortable.
The atmosphere is special here, but overall it was supportive and not aggressive – that is what we want in football. I respect that kind of support; it is fantastic for the home team. For us it was important to win straight away after a big disappointment against West Brom. It puts us in a good position confidence wise. Sunday is a big, big game for us [against Chelsea]. I believe we will go there with a desire to do extremely well.
Marouane Chamakh is a good player who fights very hard and that's what you want from your strikers. When it was 1-1 it was a question of patience but in the end we got an important win.