By Giuseppe Muro

The Champions League becomes a different competition once it enters the knockout stage, according to Arsène Wenger.

Arsenal ensured their passage to the last 16 with a 3-1 victory over Partizan Belgrade on Wednesday night despite suffering slip-ups against both Shakhtar and Braga during their Group H schedule.

Wenger knows his team can afford no more mistakes as the league format is replaced by two-legged ties.

“Now in the last 16 it becomes a different competition,” he said. “It becomes a cup competition.

“Until now it has been a championship and now we go into a real cup mode and that means for 180 minutes you have to be at your best.

“Last year we went out against Barcelona. I feel we had some room to do better because it was 2-2 at home and over there we were leading 1-0 before we lost 4-1.

“It depends whether you have your best players available, whether we have a good level of confidence then. It is very difficult to predict how far you can go.”

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9 Dec 2010