By Declan Taylor
Arsène Wenger is convinced that Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Manchester United will be a different story to their Semi-Final heartbreak at the hands of Chelsea.
Arsenal led 1-0 against Chelsea in the FA Cup at Wembley thanks to Theo Walcott’s 18th-minute volley. But Florent Malouda equalised just after the half-hour and Didier Drogba struck the winner six minutes from time.
Since that defeat, Arsenal contested the incredible 4-4 draw with Liverpool last Tuesday before dispatching Middlesbrough at Emirates Stadium at the weekend.
Wenger has been impressed by his side’s response to their FA Cup setback and he can see a marked difference between Arsenal’s Wembley opponents and Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United.
For the manager, the difference could be crucial.
“We can deal with that [Man United’s physical threat],” said the Frenchman. “They are more a technical team and Chelsea are a very efficient, physical impact team. On the pitch at Wembley it was to their advantage.
“You could see in the first half [against Chelsea] when we could maintain a quick pace in our passing we were quite on top.
“But in the second half, when the game slowed down, it was down to the experience of Chelsea and the quality players they have; Essien, Ballack, Lampard and Drogba who all have a little advantage in the 50:50s.
“But this team has shown a lot of character this year. After the disappointment against Chelsea, the way we responded three days later was magnificent.
“We were 2-1 at Anfield down and we could have crumbled. We came back and battled until the last second. The character is there; the quality is there so it’s interesting.
“I believe we have only one desire and that is to go to the Final no matter who we play. That demands a lot of belief, which, at the moment, is quite strong I must say.”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 27 Apr 2009