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Wenger: Arsenal advance in CL after “the greatest escape”

Arsene Wenger

Arsene Wenger, Arsenal FC

AP

If Leicester City avoiding relegation last season came to be known as “the great escape,” then what shall we call Arsenal’s escape from UEFA Champions League Group F this season? On Wednesday, Arsene Wenger’s side completed the improbable escape of all improbable escapes with a 3-0 away victory over Olympiacos.

[ FULL RECAP: Olympiacos 0-3 Arsenal ]

What makes the escape so improbable is that the Gunners had just three points from four games to begin their campaign, and would need all six remaining points — including three from the mighty Bayern Munich — and a bit of help elsewhere — shoutout to Olympiacos losing their final two games by a combined 7-0 — to advance. All of the above did indeed take place, which has Wenger feeling mighty pleased.

[ MORE: Round of 16 field is set — who can play who in the KO stage? ]

Wenger, speaking to BT Sport after Wednesday’s victory:

“I told you before the game that it would be the greatest escape.

“I’m very proud of the team because we needed to be right mentally and tactically and at 2-0 we needed to push for a third because it was dangerous.

“We had the perfect game. Nine times out of 10 you are out [after such a poor start] and we needed something special and we needed a complete team performance, and it was.

“This is a team, and they showed it again.”

“I’m proud of the consistency because it demands a lot of effort every day and that’s what it’s about.

“We have escaped and maybe it’s a lucky year for us in the Champions League.

“If you look at the players who are out and the performance we produced, it was outstanding. I would like to pay tribute to those who were not here and those who stepped in.”

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