By Chris Harris
Arsène Wenger hopes to exorcise the ghost of PSV Eindhoven when his team fights for a place in the Champions League Final tonight.
Arsenal crashed out of the competition two years ago when the Dutch club successfully defended a 1-0 first-leg lead at Emirates Stadium. The Gunners took the lead that night when Alex put through his own net but the Brazilian defender - now at Chelsea - redeemed himself with a towering header seven minutes from time.
Arsenal find themselves in an identical position before kick-off tonight after Manchester United secured a 1-0 advantage at Old Trafford last week. An away goal for the holders could have an equally devastating effect and Wenger knows his players will have to strike the perfect balance between attack and defence.
"It becomes awkward because I feel on that night we were a bit impatient," recalled the manager.
"We pushed on and wanted absolutely to score the second goal and in the end we got caught on the set-piece and it was 1-1. That’s football. We were in a position at the start where we think we want to win the home game. Can we do it tonight? Of course.
"From the first leg they [Man United] had a little advantage on us in their belief in the final third compared to us. But I am confident that it will be on our side in the home tie.
"We had an away game in the Champions League Semi-Final. In my experience of the Champions League Semi-Finals, they are always the most difficult games. Because the team who are 90 minutes away from the Champions League Final, at home, will give you a tough time. And we got one.
"But I am sure they will experience a tough time at the Emirates."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 5 May 2009