Arsenal Ladies manager Laura Harvey guided her side to the semi-finals of the Champions League on Wednesday night for the second year running, with a 1-0 away defeat to Gothenburg enough to secure a 3-2 aggregate victory over the Swedish side. 

Harvey spoke to Arsenal.com after the game to give her thoughts on the tie and to look ahead to the Gunners’ last-four clash with Frankfurt.

on getting through to the semi-finals…

Obviously it feels good. Our target at the start of this campaign was to get to at least the semi-finals stage, where we reached last year - that was our minimum requirement, and we’re pleased to have achieved that. I think over the two legs we know that we didn’t play to maybe the best of our abilities. But we played a little better tonight. It was a different game tonight. We knew Gothenburg would come for us and they did and credit to them. Scoring three goals in the first game was a massive boost and that saw us through tonight. So overall we’re pleased.

on the 1-0 scoreline…

We felt we created a lot of chances and we were disappointed not to put one of those away. Because the moment we’d have scored the tie would have been relatively over at that point. We had a great chance at the beginning of the game off the set piece and then three or four brilliant chances in the second half to put the game to bed and we were disappointed we didn’t do that. And to concede so late makes the last couple of minutes a little bit tense, but I said to the girls that I actually felt comfortable that we could see the game through over the 90 minutes. It was only that last couple of minutes where I did feel a little bit tense, that obviously we couldn’t afford to concede another goal at that stage. 

on Emma Byrne’s crucial first-half save…

Big players make big decisions at crucial times. Similarly to last year in the Champions League, Emma’s come good when we needed her. You hope in games that you’re not going to have to rely on her but when we did tonight, she came through for us. At times she doesn’t have a lot to do. I think in the first leg, bar the goal, she didn’t really have a lot to do. But tonight when she was called upon in the first half, she made a fantastic save to keep us in the game.

on playing the game on astroturf…

It makes the game loads quicker. We’re used to training on that so we know how the ball moves a little bit differently and how it can make your game a little bit tougher but I think the main difference was that the tempo was loads quicker than it was at Borehamwood. But it was the same last year when we travelled to Linkoping - the ball moves a lot more quickly and you’ve just got to be prepared to defend against that.

on the vocal minority of Arsenal fans…

It was great. Twelve months ago a similar group were here in Sweden [when Arsenal Ladies played Linkoping] and it just makes the game that little bit more exciting. And the fact that they came to follow the Ladies shows that the Club really means something to people. They were fully behind us for 90 minutes and you could hear them. Even over the crowd that Gothenburg had, you could still constantly hear that Gunners cry.



on semi-final opponents Frankfurt…


German football’s traditionally strong. Over the last couple of years, I think they’ve gone through a bit of a transitional period but you look through their team and there are a lot of senior internationals in their side. A lot of up and coming German internationals who have just broken into the senior side too, so they’re obviously going to be a tough opponent.

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 22 Mar 2012