‘Euro results show English clubs are stronger’
Arsène Wenger assesses big wins for Arsenal and Manchester United
By Chris Harris
Arsène Wenger believes that this week’s Champions League results underlined the strength of the English top-flight.
Arsenal put five past Porto without reply on Tuesday and Manchester United thrashed AC Milan 4-0 last night to book their place in the Quarter-Finals. Chelsea could complete a trio of Premier League clubs in the last eight when they face Inter Milan at Stamford Bridge next week.
England’s top three have already suffered more defeats this season than they did in the whole of last term, sparking suggestions that the Premier League big guns are weakening. This week’s emphatic European results suggests that they are not.
“It shows the Premier League is strong, but this is not the only season in which it has happened,” said Wenger. “That means we have not weakened.
“In the Premier League this season the top teams have lost more games domestically, but that had no consequences on Europe.
“We have not been weakened internationally, but the Premier League has maybe become stronger.”
Arsenal looked in danger of elimination when they lost the first leg of their tie in Porto and the same can be said of Chelsea after an identical 2-1 defeat at Inter. But, in Wenger’s view, Manchester United’s progress was never in question after they won in the San Siro a fortnight ago.
“That game was never in doubt after the first leg,” he said. “It put Milan in a position where they had to chase, go on a big gamble in the second leg, and of course Manchester United punished them. It was not a surprise.
“The decider was in the first game. In the heads of Milan as well, it was already all over.”Copyright 2013 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 11 Mar 2010