On producing both the desired performance and the result…
“I think we absolutely did and that’s the most pleasing thing. We were live on the television, there were over 33,000 people here tonight and the manager’s watching. It was a big occasion and thankfully we played something like we can.

“It took us 20 minutes to get going and what helped us was Jack Wilshere dropping more central. Unfortunately Emmanuel Frimpong had to come off but that was when Jack started getting on the ball. There were a couple of options. But I thought Sanchez and Gilles would run their back four and Jack could get on the ball.”

On having to leave players out…
“Unfortunately it’s part of the job. When you’ve got so many good players some of them are left disappointed. Rhys and Sanchez are both bitterly disappointed not to have started but they’ve taken it the right way, come on and performed at the proper level. I did speak to them. I pulled them aside on their own and you just have to be honest with them in the end and give them the reasons for it.”

On the four goals on the night…
“I can’t remember them to be honest but I know they were good goals. Rhys’ goal was onside which is a little bit disappointing but I said before the game that any result in this first leg we would grab with both hands. The game certainly isn’t won and any other goal puts them right back in the tie. It will be tougher up there.”

On his side’s slow start…
“Yes they did. For 20 minutes they were nervous, a bit edgy and didn’t want to get the ball down. But they worked it out and they’ve got masses of character as well as ability. They did it right and made the right decisions.”

On the first-half penalty…
“It was` penalty from where I was. I haven’t seen it again but it looked a pen and I don’t think there were many arguments.”

On his half-time words to the team…
“For the last 20 minutes of the half we kept the ball and we were making them work. We did say that if we can keep working them, working the ball quickly and switching play a bit their legs might just run out a little bit. I think that happened.”

On Jay Emmanuel-Thomas’ headed goal…

“We have worked that corner routine. Jay’s a big lump in there and with that quality of ball from Henri. It’s a dangerous corner and I still think it can work and it has done a couple of times.”

On the bumper crowd at Emirates Stadium

“It’s just fantastic and it just shows what kind of a Football Club this is. To get that many for any Youth game – I don’t think there’s another club in the country who could pull those kind of numbers in. great support, there were a lot of young kids coming along so maybe they’ll be new supporters for the future.”

On next week’s second leg…
“I think they will probably open the game up a little bit. We’ve still got problems and their kid on the right, Amoo, can shift himself a little bit and has plenty of pace. If we don’t do it right we’re in trouble. We’re only halfway there. In all fairness their striker Dalla Valle perhaps didn’t have his best night tonight but he’s more than capable of a better performance. Ince can play too but we just didn’t give them the ball.”

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 23 May 2009