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Arsenal can win it: Wenger
March 05, 2008 16:38 IST
Arsenal can win the Champions League after defeating holders AC Milan in the last 16, coach Arsene Wenger said on Tuesday.
Late goals from Cesc Fabragas and Emmanuel Adebayor sent the Premier League leaders through 2-0 on aggregate thanks to a famous 2-0 second leg win at the San Siro, the same ground they beat Inter Milan 5-1 five years ago.
"We are in the quarter-finals so why shouldn't we believe we can do it? The competition is very hard but it is a cup competition so you have to take it like that," Wenger told a news conference.
"We gave the performance we wanted. We played with organisation. We never dropped off, we closed them down and never gave them time. Overall we played with authority, maturity and talent."
Arsenal had not won in four coming into the game but left as the first English team to beat Milan at home.
"I hope that result will strengthen belief in the team...but we'll keep a good balance between belief and humility," he said.
"We have dropped our confidence levels a little bit in the championship so I like it that the team finds mental strength to play without restrictions."
Under pressure Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti agreed that Arsenal, the 2006 runners-up, were definite contenders.
I think yes (they can win) because they demonstrated in these two games that they have the quality to go to the end of the Champions League," he said.
"They put pressure on our central midfielders and they did not allow us to play as we wanted so we had only a few chances."
Ancelotti said he did not expect to be sacked or forced to resign by club president Silvio Berlusconi despite Milan also struggling in fifth in Serie A.
I don't think so," he said when asked if he might be axed. "Having won so much lately, a lost game is nothing. We will continue to pursue our goals. We played a strong team that played with great courage. Now our objective is fourth place."
UEFA Champions League 2007-08: The Complete Coverage