- Title: Wenger urges Arsenal to finish the job against PSG
- Date: 22nd November 2016
- Summary: LONDON COLNEY, NEAR LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (NOVEMBER 22, 2016) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF ARSENAL MANAGER, ARSENE WENGER AT TRAINING SESSION CHILEAN FORWARD, ALEXIS SANCHEZ ARRIVING FOR TRAINING GERMAN MIDFIELDER, MESUT OZIL (RIGHT) TRAINING WITH HIS COMPATRIOT, SHKODRAN MUSTAFI SANCHEZ TRAINING (SOUNDBITE) (English) ARSENAL MANAGER, ARSENE WENGER, SAYING: "I believe the two teams have done the job until now. Every time it was expected we've done it away from home and now we can finish the job at home and of course we want to do it. We played a draw there, it's just down to us to win the game tomorrow." WENGER WATCHING ON AT TRAINING SESSION TRAINING SESSION IN PROGRESS PLAYERS WARMING UP (SOUNDBITE) (English) ARSENAL MANAGER, ARSENE WENGER, SAYING: "When you play 1-1 away from home and you play at home we have a... It's a luxury to be qualified after four games. So last year we had to battle until the end and this season we can finish the job after five games so that would mean we have done really well." VARIOUS OF TRAINING SESSION IN PROGRESS (SOUNDBITE) (French) ARSENAL MANAGER, ARSENE WENGER, SAYING: (ACCORDING TO OFFICIAL TRANSLATION) "Of course it's a cup final because both sides are already through to the knockout stages and the winners will be the winners of the group; they'll top the group. So yes it is a cup final over 90 minutes. How can we approach it? We need to be serious in our approach both defensively and offensively. Both sides will be solid defensively. Paris St. Germain like to take the game to their opposition as do we. I think the first match was very open and a good game of football. I hope that will be the case again tomorrow night." (SOUNDBITE) (French) ARSENAL MANAGER, ARSENE WENGER, SAYING: (ACCORDING TO OFFICIAL TRANSLATION) "I think Paris St. Germain played their best game of the early part of the season against us in terms of the previous meeting. We weren't top. We had a great performance from our goalkeeper that kept us in the game and we were able to draw but this is an opportunity to show that we have progressed." ARSENAL GOALKEEPERS, PETR CECH (LEFT) AND DAVID OSPINA WALKING ON TO TRAINING PITCH OSPINA DOING A TRAINING DRILL CECH WALKING TOWARDS THE GOAL CECH TRAINING (SOUNDBITE) (French) ARSENAL GOALKEEPER, DAVID OSPINA, TALKING ABOUT FELLOW GOALKEEPER PETR CECH, SAYING: (ACCORDING TO OFFICIAL TRANSLATION) "It's very important the rivalry. He's a very good goalkeeper, we're all familiar with how good he is. So that allows me to have fierce competition so that I can work as hard as I can to play. As footballers we want to play in every match but ultimately you need to respect the coach's decision." STRIKER, OLIVIER GIROUD WALKING ON TO TRAINING PITCH WITH FELLOW FRENCHMAN, MATHIEU DEBUCHY (SOUNDBITE) (English) ARSENAL MANAGER, ARSENE WENGER, SAYING: "No, not really, you know. I have only good players and every week I leave top players on the bench and I rotate as well a little bit. And Olivier Giroud has been out for a long time; he's ready now to compete again and from game to game it will change a little bit. I will make minor rotations but he's not forever on the bench. He will play games he will be on the bench sometimes like everybody else." REPORTER, ASKING: "Will he start against PSG?" "I have not decided yet." VARIOUS OF TRAINING SESSION IN PROGRESS OSPINA TRAINING
- Embargoed: 7th December 2016 13:26
- Keywords: Arsenal Arsene Wenger Champions League Paris St Germain
- Location: LONDON COLNEY, NEAR LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM
- City: LONDON COLNEY, NEAR LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Soccer,Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA00159J1LXB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Arsene Wenger is urging his Arsenal team to "finish the job" against French champions Paris St. Germain on Wednesday (November 23) by ensuring they top their Champions League group.
Wenger said on Tuesday (November 22) that it felt like a luxury to have qualification for the knockout stages in the bag but he is determined that his side, currently on an unbeaten 17-match streak, now cash in on home advantage by winning group A.
Who will lead their assault on PSG's defence, though, remains uncertain as Wenger has not decided whether to give his in-form "Super sub" Olivier Giroud a start at the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal and PSG have both qualified, amassing 10 points apiece, so the match feels like a straight shootout for the winner's spot and a potentially easier round of 16 tie.
"It is a luxury to be qualified after four games," Wenger told a news conference.
"We have done it away from home. Now, we have to finish the job at home. We played a draw there and now it is down to us to win the game."
Arsenal were lucky to scrape a 1-1 draw at Manchester United in the Premier League on Saturday (November 19) but Giroud's late headed equaliser, his third league goal of the season, represented a bright spot.
He has not started a league match this season, seeing only 109 minutes of action, as Wenger has utlilised him as a weapon to be brought off the bench.
Yet his goals-per-minute strike rate is the best in the division with Wenger conceding on Saturday that while desperate for more playing time, Giroud was remaining angry in a positive way.
"He is not forever on the bench. He will play games," Wenger said. "I have not decided (if he will start against PSG)."
The likelihood is the Frenchman will see more action in the near future with Wenger confirming he would try to give key striker Alexis Sanchez a winter break to help him avoid burn-out.
Sanchez suffered an injury on international duty but Wenger reported he had "recovered completely" and refuted reports that the Chilean had been forced to play against Manchester United.
Goalkeeper David Ospina will start for Arsenal against PSG instead of regular choice Petr Cech and the Colombian said it was good to have a healthy rivalry with his team mate.
"It's very important the rivalry. He's a very good goalkeeper, we're all familiar with how good he is," Ospina said. "So that allows me to have fierce competition so that I can work as hard as I can to play. As footballers we want to play in every match but ultimately you need to respect the coach's decision."
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