Wenger upbeat but bemoans anxiety in front of goal

first_imgShare on Messenger news Share on WhatsApp Champions League Soccer Share on Pinterest This article is more than 11 years old Dominic Fifield at the Emirates Stadium Share on Twitter Share on Twitter The Fiver: the Guardian’s take on the world of football Share via Email Arsenal Share on LinkedIn Milan There was also a considerable setback. Touré lasted only seven minutes before succumbing to a calf problem which, at first assessment, appears likely to sideline him for up to a month. He will be absent from the second leg and in critical Premier League contests to come, though, and that may leave Arsenal vulnerable in Milan with Philippe Senderos the only natural replacement to partner William Gallas in the centre.The Milan coach, Carlo Ancelotti, however, remains wary of the threat Wenger’s side will pose in the return match. “We got a good result here but we’re not sure to go through and our progress into the next stage is still in doubt,” he said. “Arsenal are a team of great players and they have a lot of determination. I’m sure they’ll feel as if they can still do this in the return and we’ll have to improve our condition in the next 13 days to give ourselves a real chance to go through.” Topics Read more Wenger upbeat but bemoans anxiety in front of goal First published on Wed 20 Feb 2008 20.56 EST Wed 20 Feb 2008 20.56 EST @domfifield Arsène Wenger admitted his players were too anxious in front of goal after seeing the home side frustrated by Milan last night, though the Frenchman retains hope that Arsenal can prevail at San Siro to reach the last eight of the Champions League.Emmanuel Adebayor’s point-blank header seconds from the end of stoppage time, which cannoned off the visitors’ crossbar, was as close as the Premier League side came to piercing Milan’s obdurate defence here with the second-choice goalkeeper Zeljko Kalac rarely tested.Yet, while Arsenal departed frustrated and depleted with Kolo Touré likely to be absent for a month with a calf injury, they will cling to the memory of the rousing performance they mustered on their last visit to the Giuseppe Meazza stadium as grounds for real optimism.That game, against Internazionale in November 2003, saw the Italian club humiliated 5-1 and Arsenal have won at Real Madrid and impressed at Juventus since, all of which bodes well. “We didn’t take advantage of the chances we created because we were a bit nervous in the final third, a bit too forceful, and they defended with a lot of experience,” said Wenger. “We had enough shots but we didn’t really test their goalkeeper. Too many were straight at the middle of the goal because we wanted to hit them too hard. It wasn’t just Adebayor’s chance. [Emmanuel] Eboué had good chances and we had other good headers. But we weren’t relaxed enough in the final third.”You could see on Saturday [in the 4-0 FA Cup fifth round defeat at Manchester United] that our minds were already on this game. We just wanted maybe to force the result too much. But, even so, it promises to be a very interesting game in the second leg. They’ll have to come out in that second leg and they didn’t create too many chances tonight. They will be favourites but we go there positive because, with the experience I have, 0-0 at home is not a bad result.” Reuse this content Champions League 2007-08 Shares00 Share on Facebook Share via Email Soccer Share on Facebook This article is more than 11 years oldlast_img read more