Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes his side can produce something “special” in their UEFA Champions’ League last-16 second leg tie at Monaco to rescue a place in the quarter-finals in the competition on Tuesday.
The Gunners will attempt to become the first team in the competition’s history to come from two goals behind in an away leg to progress in the competition, as they look to bounce back from a 3-1 defeat at the Emirates in the first leg on 25 February.
Wenger has urged his team to make amends for their humbling in front of home supporters, which inspired a fresh wave of criticism of the Frenchman.
“We are in a position where today Monaco are the favourites, but we can go there and create something special,” he said.
“I believe that we will have the desire to do it and give absolutely everything.”
“I’d prefer to be 3-0 up, but we have no choice. Sometimes in life, you make a big mistake and there’s no comeback, no way you get the chance to put it right again. In football, you can do it, so let’s just give everything to do it.”
“We knew that we were impatient, threw ourselves forward too much and that we lost our composure. I think we wanted too much to make a difference in the first game and forgot our basics. We got it wrong in the first game.”
“Is all the pressure on Monaco? They’ve already won it, but they can still lose it. We have enough experience to know that what happens on Tuesday night does not depend on statements of people, but just depends on our performance on the night.”
Arsenal midfielders Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey echoed Wenger’s sentiments as they also believe the English Premier League outfit can achieve a miracle at the Stade Louis II.
Many have already written of Arsenal’s chances – especially given the fact that their opponents have only conceded twice in the Champions’ League all season – but Ozil is refusing to give in yet.
“It’s very important to score early, but we will remain patient,” the German 2015 FIFA World Cup winner told the club’s official website.
“If we play as we are capable of doing in Monaco, I still believe that we have a real chance to progress. We want to disrupt their rhythm and try to score as early as possible.”
“It’s going to be difficult to score three times because they have defended well in the tournament so far, but if you look at our past matches and the way we played against Manchester United [in the English FA Cup] last week, I think there’s a chance we can still progress.”
“We have to believe in ourselves. When you believe in yourselves, a positive energy grows and you can achieve your aims. In football, things that may look unlikely can happen. I know that if we believe in ourselves and utilise our potential, we can still go through.”
Ozil’s comments were echoed by teammate and Wales international Ramsey, who added: “We will go there and try to score three or more goals and hopefully not concede any. That is our target and is how we will approach it.”
“We had a sloppy first leg and we have made it quite difficult for ourselves, but it is not over yet. We are more than capable of scoring three goals. We scored three on Saturday and we believe in ourselves. So we will go into the game believing we can achieve that.”