Arsene Wenger Urges Arsenal to Knockout Barcelona

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger hopes is current squad can draw inspiration from the historic 2-1 win over Barcelona in the Round of 16 of the Champions League in 2011 ahead of the Tuesday’s tie against the Catalan side.

Five years ago, Wenger’s side beat the Catalan club at the Emirates Stadium thanks to two goals in the space of five minutes from Robin van Persie and Andrey Arshavin.

Although the Spanish giants went on to win 3-1 at home in the second leg, Wenger believes they can still beat the Champions League holders in the knockout stage again.

Speaking to the club’s weekly podcast, the Frenchman said: “The memory [I have] is that the winning goal was scored by Arshavin after we suffered for a big part of the game, and we should be encouraged by that. We suffered in the first half, and in the second half we took slowly over and became very dangerous.

“So that should help us in our game against Barcelona if we have uncomfortable moments, to still have in our minds that we can still win even if it’s difficult.”

Only three of Arsenal’s players The Walcott, Kieran Gibbs and Laurent Koscielny – were present on that day they defeated Barcelona, but Wenger still remembers the events of that the narrow victory.

“It was really special [to win in 2011]. What I also remember as well is that it reminded me of how football is really as a team because you can deliver something exceptional.
“Three or four days later we went to Leyton Orient and drew in the FA Cup. In the same week that we were on a high, we were down again, but it will certainly be remembered as one of the exceptional nights at the Emirates.”