As it stands, winning a 2016-17 UEFA Champions League group promises to be a better idea than finishing second.
Thanks to a big win at Basel and a stunning bit of work from Ludogorets Razgrad, Arsenal is experiencing that first place feeling.
[ MORE: Draw options as they stand ]
After Arsenal clobbered Basel 4-1 in Switzerland on the power of a Lucas Perez hat trick, Ludogorets built 1-0 and 2-1 leads before holding on for a draw at the Parc des Princes against Paris Saint-Germain.
PSG just needed a win to finish first and avoid Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Leicester City, and Napoli, as well Juventus or Sevilla, and Borussia Dortmund or Real Madrid.
Now Arsenal avoids that bunch, and also gets that valuable second match at home. At worst, Arsene Wenger says his bunch can take comfort in knowing it did its best to avoid a nightmare opponent:
“I thought Ludugorets were a good side – they made a great result that helps us top the group, which was what we wanted.
“It is difficult to know but you feel a bit less guilty if you have a bad draw if first than second – we have done our job and let’s see what happens.”
Laurent Koscielny agreed, and the ex-Guingamp, Tours, and Lorient man is pumped to do what the French giants could not.
“We had a small chance to finish first tonight – after PSG last time we said we had one more game, we did our job and PSG did not.
“It is important to finish first because we have a second game at home but we will have a big team so we will see who we get in the draw.”
This promises to be a fun knockout round, and Arsenal has a bevy of promising match-ups if the draw falls their way.