By Declan Taylor
Kolo Toure has declared that Arsenal’s season is “still alive” after Wednesday’s captivating Champions League tie in Rome.
The Ivorian took Arsenal’s sixth penalty in the dramatic shoot-out win, sidefooting home with aplomb to keep the Gunners on course.
Eventually Max Tonetto ballooned his spot-kick over the bar to hand Arsenal the sudden-death victory and put them into the hat for the Quarter-Final.
And, thanks to last Sunday’s FA Cup victory against Burnley, the Gunners are now into the last eight of two competitions and unbeaten in the Premier League since November.
“Definitely, we are still alive this season,” Toure said. “We are not playing too badly, and we are getting a few players back, it’s really, really important for our season.
“We could have done better in the [Roma] game, we had a few chances, a few occasions, if maybe we’d been a bit sharper.
“At the end of the day the most important thing was how we approached the game mentally; it was really strong from the start. All the young players have taken the responsibility and they did so, so well.
“I just can’t believe it at the moment. When you go to penalties we are just close to going out, and we are really close to staying in the competition. At the end, when you are still in it, you feel so, so good, definitely.
“Now we have Adebayor, we have Fabregas, we have maybe Rosicky [coming back] and I think they are going to push us even more forward.”
The Ivorian has no preference when it comes to Champions League Quarter-Final opponents, but he does hope for a more straight-forward encounter whoever the Gunners face.
“I think any team who is going to come is going to be a really good test for us,” he continued. “All the top teams in Europe are there – any team we get is going to be really, really tight.”
“We are really happy with what happened already, we have qualified in a difficult situation and we hope next time we can go more easier.
“It’s going to be really tight, there are some really good teams out there, but we believe in our strength. It’s a really tight position, anything can happen.”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 13 Mar 2009