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Milan victory a ‘huge for confidence’ says Arsene Wenger

Arsene Wenger says he believes Arsenal’s brilliant 2-0 win over AC Milan in mid-week will be a huge confidence boost for his side going forward.

The Gunners travelled to the San Siro on Thursday night on the back of four consecutive defeats at the hands of Ostersunds, Manchester City (twice) and Brighton.

After a dismal fortnight at in North London however Wenger’s side put on a stunning performance against Genarro Gattuso’s side to take the upper hand in their Europa League quarter-final tie ahead of the return fixture at The Emirates next week.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan opened the scoring on the night, his deflected effort flying past Gianluigi Donnarumma in the Milan net to give the visitors the lead and the Armenian his first goal for the club since joining from Manchester United in January.

Aaron Ramsey then doubled Arsenal’s lead just before the break, latching onto a Mesut Ozil through ball to round the keeper and slot home.

And speaking after the result in Milan, Arsene Wenger says the win was just the medicine his side needed after a tough few weeks.

“When you are low in confidence it’s difficult to attack well and I give credit to the team for that,” the manager said, “They didn’t hide, they went in a positive way in the game. They didn’t just try to defend well, they had the courage to play as well.

“When you lose a cup final in the middle of the season and play against the same opponent three or four days later, you have more chances to lose the game, no matter who you are, than to win it. We faced a storm after we lost the cup final but we lost against Man City who are dominating the Premier League at the moment and it’s always difficult to put things into perspective.

“That’s why, at some stage, it’s not about feeling sorry for yourselves. Even though you’re disappointed, you have to stick together and show who you are – and find the resources that are linked to your pride and with your refusal to lie down. I think there is some aspect of our performance [at the San Siro] that is down to that.

“Hopefully that game in Milan has restored and rebuilt our confidence and desire and that you’ll see a positive performance [against Watford].”

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