Wenger turns focus to Man United

Arsene Wenger has challenged his Arsenal side to build on the win at Borussia Dortmund when they face Manchester United.

Last Updated: 07/11/13 at 13:43 Post Comment

Arsene Wenger challenged his Arsenal side to use their superb 1-0 Champions League victory over Borussia Dortmund at Westfalenstadion as foundation for a similar assault on Old Trafford this weekend.

All the pre-match hype had been over Jurgen Klopp's "heavy metal" approach looking to again overcome Wenger's Arsenal "orchestra" as they had at the Emirates Stadium a fortnight ago, but it was good old fashioned hard work which earned Arsenal a memorable win following a second-half header from in-form Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey.

Wenger sees no reason why the Barclays Premier League leaders should not be confident of securing another positive result when they travel to Manchester United.

"I just hope that it strengthens the belief of my team that we can put another great performance in," Wenger said. "You know we have another massive game on Sunday, and we want that kind of performance again."

The Arsenal boss continued: "We were 'light' metal, but this is a huge result.

"We had a united, focused performance, especially defensively.

"We looked more stable defensively because we have experience in midfield not to lose the ball in stupid positions.

"Dortmund are especially dangerous when you lose the ball, and to counter that, you need maturity.

"If you have a very young team you would be overrun and lose that game by a very high score. We look more stable defensively.

"It was a question of being focused and intelligent, and not to make the first mistake, to wait for the moment where we could create openings in their defence. We did that.

"If you look at the results they have made at home in the Champions League, not many teams have achieved that."

With Napoli beating Marseille, Arsenal - now unbeaten in some 15 away matches - still have work to do to secure safe passage through to the knockout stages, but will have gained more belief they can last the distance this season.

Wenger said: "Unfortunately this group is a very strong group, and one of the big teams will have to pay a heavy price. I hope it will not be us."

Ramsey's close-range strike took the Wales midfielder's tally to an impressive 11 goals for the season in all competitions.

Wenger said: "This season he has gained confidence and he has an unbelievable engine to go from box to box. Confidence and his ability of course makes him a dangerous player."

Dortmund should have gone ahead just before the break when Henrikh Mkhitaryan shot wide from the edge of the penalty area after Arsenal were carved open down the right.

Gunners goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny saved well from Jakub Blaszczykowski early in the second half, with Marco Reus' follow-up effort chalked out for offside.

Klopp, who guided Dortmund to the 2013 Champions League final at Wembley, feels on this evidence, Arsenal must be taken seriously.

He said: "Yes (Arsenal can win the Champions League). They are young, healthy and good technicians.

"They won a clever game tonight and could go to the final and win it - as long as they don't play against Bayern Munich."

Despite the defeat, Klopp feels Dortmund's qualification hopes remain in their own hands, with a home match against Napoli and a trip to bottom club Marseille the final two Group F fixtures.

"It is a very strong group and the positive news is that two wins and we will qualify," he said.


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