Having just gone ahead through an own goal in last night’s 3-0 win over BATE Borisov, Arsenal had Stephan Lichtsteiner to thank for keeping the scores level.
The veteran defender cleared a goal-bound effort off the line just minutes after the Gunners had gone ahead, preventing what would have been a damaging away strike for the visitors.
The former Swiss international hasn’t always found his best form this season, but enjoyed his night defensively and down the right hand side, and he was keep to praise the mentality of the team after also keeping that rarest of things: a clean sheet.
“We are happy that we passed through this round, so we will look forward to the next round,” he said.
“It was our objective to get through this round. Of course it wasn’t easy after losing the away game 1-0, so we had to be very careful that they didn’t take over. In the end it was a good performance and we’re happy.”
With Southampton coming up on Sunday, it was good for the confidence to not concede, something the former Juventus man was keen to stress.
“It’s important to keep a clean sheet because if we conceded then we would have needed to score three goals, so even at 2-0 you need to be focused in the game,” he continued.
“It was a very good game tactically, but also mentality wise.”