By Richard Clarke
The difference between Arsenal and Manchester United on Wednesday was simply sharpness around the penalty area, according to Arsène Wenger.
The Champions League Semi-Final first leg at Old Trafford was widely perceived to be a lop-sided affair in everything but the scoreline. Sir Alex Ferguson's side had a number of chances but only converted one through John O'Shea in the early stages. It leaves the tie wide open ahead of the second leg at Emirates Stadium on Tuesday, but Wenger knows his side have to improve - and he has been putting a little research into where.
"I watched the game twice again when I got home," said the studious Frenchman. "We analysed it very well.
"If you analyse it in a neutral way, as neutral I can be anyway, then the night before Chelsea made 165 passes and Barcelona 480 but, in the game, we played it was much more level.
"There was very little difference in the passing. But in the final third, they were really sharp. In fairness to them, they created chances much more than we did.
"They were more convincing in the final third but even in the penalty area the statistics are very level. But when they went for it they were sharper.
"We hope that in the second leg that sharpness that sometimes the home game gives you will be on our side.
"Manchester United have got the advantage but they missed the chance to score a second goal and we are confident that we can make them regret that."Copyright 2017 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