By Richard Clarke
Theo Walcott knows Arsenal “got away” with a 1-0 reverse at Old Trafford last Wednesday.
Manchester United dominated the Champions League Semi-Final first leg and the visitors had to thank keeper Manuel Almunia for keeping down the margin of defeat. Arsène Wenger’s side can put matters right on Tuesday in the return rubber at Emirates Stadium. And Walcott is well aware they have been handed a second chance.
“Everyone was down because we didn’t get the result,” he said. “We wanted an away goal and we didn't get one but Almunia was unbelievable. I think that we got away with it because of the number of chances that they had.”
Before the game, much was made of the match-up between Walcott and Manchester United’s left back Patrice Evra. It did not materialise. The England winger had subdued match and was substituted later on.
“It was quite difficult to get into the game,” he admitted. “I think a lot of the attacking players could say that. We didn't create any chances, other than a few bits and pieces. Hopefully we can create some chances on Tuesday.
“We would have taken a 1-0 defeat beforehand and especially given the number of chances they had. We can win the second leg 1-0 and take it to extra-time.”
Should it stay that way of course, the tie would be decided on penalties.
“Yeah,” said Walcott. “Obviously Manchester United have plenty of experience in shoot-outs but we have as well after Rome. Hopefully it won't come to that and we can win in 90 minutes but if it goes all the way, we'll believe we can do it.”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 4 May 2009