By Chris Harris
Gael Clichy thinks Arsenal are better equipped to win the Champions League this year - but he has warned his team-mates not to get carried away by one outstanding result.
The French left back contributed to a welcome clean sheet on Wednesday night and got forward to support an attack which rattled in six goals against Braga in the Group H opener. It was the perfect start to Arsenal's 13th consecutive season in Europe's elite competition and prompted questions over their chances of lifting the trophy at Wembley next May.
Clichy believes that this could be their year but will not draw any conclusions on the evidence of just 90 minutes, however impressive they were.
"I think that we are better equipped but it is only one game so we cannot say too much," he said.
"The only answer we can give to people who are doubting the team is on the pitch and I think we have done well since the start of the season. We just have to keep it going, game after game, and see where this form will take us. But we have great players with a strong mentality and this year could be the year.
"The win over Braga was great for the fans and it is great for us - a clean sheet with a lot of goals, I think that is what people want to see at the stadium so we're glad to give them that. It is a good start for a big competition and we have to keep going because although people say it's an easy group stage we have some tricky away games."
Clichy and his team-mates must now turn their attention to Saturday's trip north to face Sunderland - an unhappy hunting ground in recent seasons. The Frenchman knows that Arsenal can expect a very different test of their mettle on Wearside.
"The Braga game was unbelievable - we played well, we created chances - but Sunderland away is going to be a different team and a different kind of opponent," he said.
"We know how the Premier League is and we have to recover quickly and be ready for Saturday because it is going to be a battle. They are good at home and we just want to show our fans we can perform week-in, week-out."Copyright 2017 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