Arsene Wenger thinks it’s very likely Arsenal will finish second in Champions League Group D even though they beat table-toppers Borussia Dortmund to secure safe passage to the knockout stages.
An early goal from Yaya Sanogo helped ease the tension at the Emirates before Alexis’ curling effort just before the hour mark sealed a comfortable victory in a game that the visitors struggled to get to grips with.
“It will depend a bit on what happens in the next few games,” said the boss looking ahead to a final match in Istanbul against bottom side Galatasaray.
“I will try to win the last game and you never know. If Anderlecht win in Dortmund and we don’t win in Galatasaray you will say we were stupid. It’s unlikely [we’ll top the group], let’s say it’s 90 per cent that we will finish second and Dortmund will finish first.”
Reflecting on the achievement of progressing from the group stage for an 11th consecutive year, he continued, “When you work in a football club you will realise that it’s not easy to have a continuity and to be consistent.
“I am very proud of that and I think the club also deserves a lot of credit for that. It’s not enough because we want more than that but we are consistent.”
Having been pitted against Bayern Munich, Barcelona and AC Milan in recent years, the boss noted that even if his squad do come second he’ll be hoping for a change of luck when the draw is made in Nyon on 15 December.
“First to send a different guy for the draw,” he joked when asked how Arsenal might make more of an impact on the tournament this year.
“If you look at the last five or six years we got the teams we didn’t want. From now until February we need to improve as a team, get encouragement from tonight’s game and then hope we have nearly all our players back in the next round.
“You see who is qualified around Europe and there are many teams who are at the top, top level. There are three or four teams you don’t want to play.”
We’re definitely getting Bayern Munich. You heard it hear first. Or Barcelona. Bayern or Barca. Place your bets.