Champions League – Wenger: Arsenal will be ‘audacious’


Arsene Wenger has challenged his young Arsenal players to demonstrate that they have fulfilled their potential against Manchester United in their Champions League semi-final first leg.

FOOTBALL 2009 - Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger talks to the players during a team training session before the Champions League semi-final against Manchester United - 0

Arsenal boss Wenger’s approach to Wednesday’s clash at Old Trafford will be in complete contrast to that of United counterpart Alex Ferguson.

“The rules, the modern rules, encourage teams at home to be cautious and the away team to be audacious,” the Arsenal manager said.

“To score an away goal could be very important.”

United manager Ferguson said earlier that he was prepared to adopt a cautious approach and would be happy with a tight and narrow victory.

“We need to win without losing a goal, I can put it that way,” Ferguson said.

Wenger said: “What I want is for my team to play with belief and certainty and with a desire to score goals.

“This is the moment we’ve waited for. This is the moment we want to show we have what’s needed to take advantage of this first game.”

Wenger, who led Arsenal to the final in 2006 when they lost to Barcelona, added that he could see his present generation of players winning the trophy.

“I’m an optimist and I believe I will win it – and the sooner the better,” he added.

Arsenal are almost clear of injury concerns although question marks remain over the involvement of Kieran Gibbs with an ankle complaint while former United defender Mikael Silvestre may also be absent with a back problem.