Europa League

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Interview

Jack - The steps we have taken as a team

Having been at their lowest ebb after losing four games in quick succession, it has been quite a response from the Arsenal team in recent weeks.

Three wins on the bounce, including two against AC Milan, have restored confidence and Jack Wilshere puts it down to the steps the team have taken defensively.

This is what he told Arsenal Media:

on beating Milan...
It was a good performance - we knew we had to give the same effort as we did in Milan last week. It was a big physical effort and we did that again tonight. We have to do that going forward - you have seen the last three games and we have really concentrated on our defensive shape and discipline. We all did it together as a team, we closed gaps and we knew we had to do that again tonight because they were going to try to bring the game to us. We're happy but we need to keep this going now.

on how they've closed gaps as a team...
Everyone is giving a little bit more physically when things don't go our way. If you're having a bad game, or things aren't going your way, the one thing you can always promise is that you'll run around. You have to give your all and I think we're doing that. We had a few bad results and everyone had a good hard look at themselves, and we have responded. We have responded with three big performances and we have set the bar now. We need to do that week in, week out.

on Danny Welbeck...
I'm happy for him because his last goal was [against Nottingham Forest in January], and it's hard for a striker because they will always be judged on goals. He brings more to the team than just goals, his runs in behind, his work-rate is good - but I know as a striker, and I know him, that he wants to score. He took his penalty nicely, then he got the second and hopefully he can build on that.

on his England recall...
I'm happy of course, it's been a while since I've been in there but I never gave up hope. I've been fortunate enough to represent my country a lot of times and it's one of the best feelings in the world. I never gave up that little bit of hope, so I'm happy and it's down to me now to repay him.

News

We will face CSKA Moscow in the Europa League

Arsenal team

We will face CSKA Moscow in the quarter-finals of the Europa League.

We reached this stage of the competition by beating AC Milan 5-1 over two legs, while CSKA Moscow knocked out Lyon in the last-16.

Full fixture information as follows:

Arsenal v CSKA Moscow
Thursday, April 5
Kick-off: 8.05pm (UK time)
To be played at Emirates Stadium
 
CSKA Moscow v Arsenal
Thursday, April 12
Kick-off: 8.05pm (UK time)
To be played at VEB Arena

Stay close to Arsenal.com for more information.

News

Important travel information for CSKA Moscow (a)

VEB Arena - CSKA Moscow

The safety of our fans is always a top priority for us and we will be working with the relevant authorities in London and Moscow in preparation for the game. 

We will keep you updated but in the meantime please follow the advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office which is as follows:

“Due to heightened political tensions between the UK and Russia, you should be aware of the possibility of anti-British sentiment or harassment at this time; you’re advised to remain vigilant, avoid any protests or demonstrations and avoid commenting publicly on political developments; while the British Embassy in Moscow is not aware of any increased difficulties for British people travelling in Russia at this time, you should follow the security and political situation closely and keep up to date with this travel advice.”

For more detailed information and the latest updates click here

VISA INFORMATION

British nationals travelling to our away match against CSKA Moscow will need to apply for a visa to enter Russia.
 
Here is a step-by-step-guide to organising your visa:

  • Firstly, you need to obtain a ‘tourist voucher & confirmation’. This can be provided by either your hotel in Moscow or by a Russian registered travel agent.
  • Secondly, complete the following online application here.
  • Thirdly, visit the Russia Visa Application Centre to submit required documents and to fingerprints. The London branch of the Russia Visa Application Centre is at 15-27 Gee Street EC1V3RD
  • Finally, you need to return to the application centre to collect your visa or – if you prefer – you can arrange for your visa to be posted back to you. 

Visas typically take six working days to process, but we have been advised that supporters apply under an ‘Urgent’ application. An express service is available for an additional fee, and we recommend you allow additional time wherever possible. 
 
Passports need to be valid for at least six months following the day of departure from Russia. Passports also need to have two blank visa pages, for the visa to be added.
 
A complete list of required documents for a tourist visa can be found here.
 
Further instructions on the application process can be found here or via the Russian Visa Application Centre help line - 0905 889 0149 - between 08:30 and 17:30 Monday to Friday except public holidays (call charges apply).

Video

Watch the goals from our win over Milan

We qualified for the quarter-final of the Europa League thanks to a 3-1 win over AC Milan (5-1 on aggregate) on Thursday night.

You can watch highlights from our win by pressing the 'play' button above.

Full highlights and match replay available from midnight (UK time) on Sunday.

 

Team news

What's the latest on Laurent Koscielny's fitness?

The only blot on an otherwise bright night for us was the sight of Laurent Koscielny limping off in the early stages of our win over AC Milan.

Fortunately, the captain’s injury does not seem to be as bad as it looked.

“He got a kick on his back,” said Arsene Wenger. “We don’t think it’s bad but he cramped up and he couldn’t go on.”

Interview

How Welbz convinced the boss he should take pens

Arsene Wenger wasn’t at all worried when Danny Welbeck stepped up to take his first ever penalty in senior football - because he’s been tucking them away in training.

The England international rolled a confident spot-kick into the bottom corner to equalise against AC Milan and help us to a 3-1 win on the night and a 5-1 aggregate victory.

“Yes it was his first penalty but we worked on it in training a lot,” the boss told Arsenal Player. “He took many penalties and he convinced me that he can be a good penalty-taker.

“Every game he plays makes him stronger and that is very good for Danny, for his confidence, for the fact that he did fight very hard. He scored a penalty that was a vital one, an important one, and he had the mental strength to have a clean finish.”

The manager was delighted with the way we reacted after falling behind to a wonder strike from Milan.

“We played a little bit at the start with the desire to protect our result but as soon as they were 1-0 up you could see that the response was there straight away,” he said.

“I’m happy because it’s never easy to cope mentally with a 2-0 advantage away from home. We have seen that in England with other teams, they struggled after positive results away from home. You are in between [mentally] and that is always dangerous in the game. 

“Once we scored the second goal we were never under threat anymore and we qualified in a strong way against a strong side. You are not surprised that they didn’t lose for 14 games in Italy.”

Press conference

‘People didn't think we'd respond like this'

Arsene Wenger had every reason to be delighted after we navigated a tricky test against AC Milan to reach the last eight of the Europa League.

Here’s what he said in post-match press conference:

on a ‘thorough win’…
It was a difficult game for two reasons. One is that we played against a good side who are unbeaten in Italy for a long, long time and you could see why. Secondly, subconsciously we were in a protective mode a little bit with the handbrake from the start on. Instead of turning the game forward, we played backwards. That’s always the best way to invite your opponent to be dangerous. After that, when we are 1-0 down, you could see straightaway the response was in the team. As soon as we pushed forward, we looked dangerous and I believe overall, we won the two games and finished the games in a convincing way. It was a good game against a solid team and we needed to be resilient and disciplined. But we made a big part and the best part of the job in the first game. It’s always difficult to finish the job. Especially when you have a good away result, because you are a little bit in-between. That’s always difficult.

on there being higher levels of fluidity in our football tonight…
As I told you many times, we had a nightmare week and to recover from that you need to be mentally strong, you need to be solid. The team needs to show, together, a response. That’s what we did. Overall, I think many people didn’t expect us to respond like we did. That shows that the team is healthy, has a good basis and we have seen that for many teams, it is difficult to win at home when you have done it away from home.

on what this result can do for the club and the squad…
Certainly, first for the climate around the team, it was a vital result for us tonight. Apart from that, we have targets as well now to finish as close as possible to the top four. And why not benefit from a miracle? But as well, focus on the quarter-final now.

on Danny Welbeck’s penalty…
I haven’t seen it again. There are two things. Was it a penalty or not? I don’t know. The Italian players were not happy with it, I can understand that, because I don’t really know what it was. After that, Danny took the penalty in a convincing way. I will watch it again and give you my honest feeling about it.

on whether he’ll give Danny his honest opinion…
I will give him my honest feeling about it as well. Don’t worry!

on having the crowd back onside and turning the corner there…
I said many times, the crowd will be behind our back. This club is loved, we have a big fanbase. If we have the results and the way to play football, the crowd will be behind us. When they are not on our side, it’s to show their disappointment. We have to accept that, that’s our job, to get them behind us.

on if fans will continue to come back…
First of all, not everybody can come on a Thursday night. But I think it was a good crowd tonight.

on what the team will do in the two-and-a-half-week gap between games…
Look, all the players go away on international duty. We have four players left. Four of the whole squad. Some of them go with the under-21s. We have four players left. We’ll mix work and recovery but we'll have more coaches than players in the next week!

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