Arsene Wenger was understandably buzzing after Arsenal went to Greece and turned our Champions League record there on it´s head with a brilliant performance and a first Olivier Giroud hat-trick to consign Olympiacos to the Europa League and keep alive the Frenchman´s amazing record of reaching the knockout stage of Europe’s elite club competition.
But after the Gunners were drawn against the La Liga champions, current holders and strong favourites Barcelona, Wenger’s claim that this could be our lucky year were laughed at by the football world. The prof, however, is not ready to give up on his belief just yet.
He said in a statement reported by The Guardian that luck could still have a big part to play for us and suggested that Arsenal were well overdue a bit after not getting the rub of the green or any help from the match officials in our previous meetings with Barca. And when he was referring to our recent record against them, Wenger also claimed that the current crop of Arsenal players are a lot more suited and ready to cope with this undoubtedly tough test.
The prof proudly stated, “We are playing against a team that have the trophy and are the best team in Europe but I think we have a good chance to go through. It is a difficult challenge but an exciting one as well.
“We are more mature now. We played against Barcelona previously with top teams, but very inexperienced and very young. Barcelona were in full power but we still managed to beat them [in the first-leg in 2011] and it was always very tight.
“We have never been beaten [comprehensively] and we were sometimes unlucky as well. That is in our minds. That is deep in my body, as well. I do not forget that. We have a chance, an opportunity to put things right, and we’ll focus on that.”
So what do you think are the chances of Barca getting the keeper sent off or having a striker sent off for shooting just after the ref has blown his whistle? We can only hope…