Arsenal won 2-0 at AS Monaco last season but exited the Champions League.
The damage had been done by the first leg defeat at the Emirates Stadium, and it’s only natural that fears of a repeat have reared their heads.
This year, the Gunners lost 3-2 to Olympiacos at home. It was a result that left qualification in doubt and, despite two wins from the last three games, Arsenal still need to win by two goals (or win while scoring three) to qualify on Wednesday.
“We can learn from (Monaco last season),” Arsène Wenger insisted in Tuesday’s press conference. “The game we played was very positive, maybe we rushed it in the last ten minutes. That’s what we can learn.
“I believed we played quite well in that game.”
Arsenal did play well, but not well enough. Still, winning 2-0 on Wednesday would be enough.
During Wenger’s reign, Arsenal have won all over Europe but not away to Olympiacos. Three defeats all came in circumstances which meant the game had little to no significance, so the boss isn’t bothered by those losses and feels Arsenal can win on Wednesday.
“We have a history of positive results, we have won everywhere in Europe and we know we can do it.
“We just want to focus on a top quality performance.”
Narrowly going out, once again, due to a calamitous performance, once again, would be seen as a disaster; a mental block that the Gunners cannot overcome. Are we in a bad habit in Europe?
Wenger doesn’t see it that way.
“On the other hand, we have got out of the group stage 15 times consecutively, so you can say that’s a good habit.”
Well said, Arsène. Now let’s make it 16 times.