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Wenger: Arsenal will learn from Barcelona’s mistakes ahead of CSKA Moscow clash

Arsene Wenger has insisted his side will learn from the mistakes made by Barcelona in mid-week ahead of the Gunners Europa League quarter final second leg against CSKA Moscow tonight.

Barcelona were dumped out of the Champions League at the hands of AS Roma in mid-week, with the Italians turning around a 4-1 deficit from the first leg to progress to the semi-finals in unlikely, and spectacular, fashion.

Arsenal travel to Russia to take on CSKA Moscow in the second leg of Europa League last-eight tie tonight, and find themselves in the exact same position as the Catalonians did before their unbelievable collapse at Stadio Olimpico on Tuesday evening.

The Gunners lead CSKA by a 4-1 lead from last week’s first-leg, with braces from both Aaron Ramsey and Alexandre Lacazette helping Arsene Wenger’s side put on foot in the competition’s semi-finals.

Despite their convincing lead however, Wenger says Roma’s outstanding turnaround earlier in the week proves the tie is far from over, and says he side will heed to warning set before them.

“The best way to build on the advantage is to try to win the game, so we will play with our best possible team and have a positive attitude,” said the Arsenal manager.

“We are in a position where I don’t think we are under threat of complacency. It is an important target for us to go as far as possible [in the competition]. Tuesday night [in Rome] may be a good warning for us but let us not go overboard as well. Yes, we have a big job to do but we are in a strong position and it is how we approach the game that will be vital.”

Arsenal currently sit 6th in the Premier League table and 13 points off the top four with only six games remaining, meaning winning the Europa League remains Arsenal’s last hope of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.

And Wenger says he understands the importance of his side’s progression in the competition in determining the success or failure of Arsenal’s season.

“The Europa League is important for us, everyone knows that,” he replied. “We are at a stage where we focus on it because in the Premier League we have a very, very, very slim chance to move further up, so the Europa League is one of the big targets now.”

 

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