Milan win will lift our belief, says Arsene Wenger
Arsenal boss insists his team's 2-0 victory over Italian giants in Thursday's Europa League last-16 first leg can erase the negativity affecting his players
Arsenal's Henrikh Mkhitaryan (centre) celebrates a goal against AC Milan during the Europa League last-16 first leg at on Thursday. Pic/AFP
Arsene Wenger finally saw Arsenal respond to their bad run of form as they beat AC Milan comfortably at San Siro — and the manager now wants to use the victory to turn the season around. The Gunners travelled to Italy for the first leg of this Europa League last-16 tie on the back of four damaging defeats. But, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan scoring his first goal for the club in the 15th minute and Aaron Ramsey rounding Gianluigi Donnarumma to add a second on the stroke of half-time, Arsenal secured a 2-0 victory to take back to the Emirates Stadium next week.
This was a performance that Arsenal needed. Their hopes of returning to the Champions League all but rest on winning this competition. So it was a timely display to keep their quest for honours alive, with Wenger hopeful the result can lift some of the negativity affecting his players.
Asked if the win was just what Arsenal needed, he replied: "Yes, and what we wanted especially. At some stage, you need to respond and respond together with a good performance. That's what we did tonight. When you have big disappointments you forget that you have some qualities. In one week, you do not become a bad team or a bad player. Nothing is permanent. What is happening in life is just about how much you want to influence things. That's what we try to do."
Wenger, however, said that the tie is far from over. "We have won again but we have not qualified. The result will lift the belief in the team. When you lose three games in six days, it's always very difficult. We want to keep our focus and finish the job next week."
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