On his side’s performance…
“I think it was a fierce battle. I felt collectively we dominated the game but Celtic were always willing, fighting and counter-attacking. In the end, despite being in control, we scored two lucky goals. It was a big fight tonight and we needed a strong Arsenal side to win the game. The crowd and players were absolutely up for it and I believe with an average performance we would not have won the game today.”

On the 2-0 advantage being “good enough”…

“We have a good advantage but it’s 180 minutes, we’re ahead after 90. When you want to go through you want to play well for 180 – that’s our purpose. We want to win the home game and of course qualify for the Group Stage. We are in a strong position and we now want to take advantage of that.

“I believe we have to make sure we win the game at home. It would not be serious to take that game in a non-serious way. It is a massive game, what is at stake is massive to us because we want to play with the best. Even with an advantage of two goals we want to finish the job at home.”

On deserving their good fortune…

“I believe we forced them to make one or two mistakes at the back. I conceded that we were lucky on the goals today but we had plenty of opportunities in the second half where we missed the final ball and final pass. I give credit to my team, even at 1-0 we didn’t drop off and we kept playing very high up and put them under pressure. That was a very positive attitude.”

On the special atmosphere at Parkhead…

“I felt, from my impression, that the atmosphere was outstanding. It’s even better than in the Premier League. People were fair and Celtic, for me, were well organised and I couldn’t see them ever give up, even at 2-0. It was always difficult for us to get the game going. Sometimes they made the foul they needed to make but overall I was impressed by their attitude.”

On Celtic’s highly-rated Aiden McGeady…

“He had a very good game. They surprised us a little bit at the start with Samaras and McGeady both through the middle. They played a lot of long balls but I believe we managed to deal well with that. what was very good on Celtic’s side was their defence played very well. He can certainly [play at the top clubs in England] yes. I believe it’s important to keep your good players here. Why do you always want them to go down to the south?”

On becoming the first English side to win at Celtic in almost 26 years…
“I believe we have a fantastic attitude, a great togetherness and we put relentless pressure on Celtic. We never let them establish a flow and we always disturbed their game very well.”

On Celtic and Rangers joining the Premier League…
“Well that’s not down to me to decide that. I believe Celtic and Rangers have to keep the Scottish League alive. That’s why they have to stay here.”

On the physical nature of the contest…

“I think there were some bad fouls. The referee took some time to intervene but afterwards he did it. We got sometimes some harsh treatment today.

“I’m very happy with the commitment of my team despite the physical approach of some Celtic players. I can understand that from Celtic’s point of view but what is more interesting for me is how we respond to that. I believe we did that well.”

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 18 Aug 2009