So the big day has finally arrived and Arsenal are preparing to demonstrate the full power of positive thinking and overturn the 3-1 deficit from the first leg. In the preview on the official UEFA website, Arsene Wenger repeats the positive mantra and says that he is “confident” that the Gunners can make history tonight. “Monaco are in a very strong position but we have experience and the desire and belief that we can do it. So we are here to do it. We will have to play on full power, focusing on our offensive and defensive games. The desire is there.” he said.
“I am confident. The odds are stacked against us, but we will give absolutely everything to turn the tie around. We will show a different face. In the first leg we failed, which was surprising given our form. We have a second chance and we will exploit it.
“It is a special moment for me but experience allows me to manage the pressure. We must have a great game, do our best and give our all. If we did not believe in ourselves we would not have turned up.”
Meanwhile the Monaco manager Leonardo Jardim is expecting his hardest game of the season, despite the two-goal cushion his side enjoy at the outset. “We approach this game in the same manner as ever. We are not thinking about the result; we just want to play and produce some good football.” he said.
“Arsenal did not take us lightly in the first leg, it’s just that we had the perfect game. We are at half-time in the tie. We are two goals up but this game will be the most difficult of our season so far.
“When you are up against a team like Arsenal, you must stay focused. We have changed our defensive system a few times but we have always performed on the pitch. That is one of our strengths.
“Everybody wants to go far in the Champions League. We started slowly in the league and we have always been more consistent in the Champions League. Against English teams, PSG and Monaco are showing that we can produce real quality.”
Both teams are in fine form, it’s just a shame that the tie wasn’t just a little bit closer after the first leg. Monaco haven’t conceded three goals at home in any game this season, and haven’t conceded even one goal at home in this season’s Champions League. Monaco have never lost a tie after leading from the first leg either (W9), and Arsenal have never won after losing at home before, but conversely Arsenal have never lost to a Ligue 1 side in France ever (W7 D3).
Records are made to be broken, and maybe we’ll see some broken tonight. We can but be positive and believe in our team…..