Wenger: Arsenal advance in CL after “the greatest escape”

1 Comment

If Leicester City avoiding relegation last season came to be known as “the great escape,” then what shall we call Arsenal’s escape from UEFA Champions League Group F this season? On Wednesday, Arsene Wenger‘s side completed the improbable escape of all improbable escapes with a 3-0 away victory over Olympiacos.

[ FULL RECAP: Olympiacos 0-3 Arsenal ]

What makes the escape so improbable is that the Gunners had just three points from four games to begin their campaign, and would need all six remaining points — including three from the mighty Bayern Munich — and a bit of help elsewhere — shoutout to Olympiacos losing their final two games by a combined 7-0 — to advance. All of the above did indeed take place, which has Wenger feeling mighty pleased.

[ MORE: Round of 16 field is set — who can play who in the KO stage? ]

Wenger, speaking to BT Sport after Wednesday’s victory:

“I told you before the game that it would be the greatest escape.

“I’m very proud of the team because we needed to be right mentally and tactically and at 2-0 we needed to push for a third because it was dangerous.

“We had the perfect game. Nine times out of 10 you are out [after such a poor start] and we needed something special and we needed a complete team performance, and it was.

“This is a team, and they showed it again.”

“I’m proud of the consistency because it demands a lot of effort every day and that’s what it’s about.

“We have escaped and maybe it’s a lucky year for us in the Champions League.

“If you look at the players who are out and the performance we produced, it was outstanding. I would like to pay tribute to those who were not here and those who stepped in.”