Football: CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Wenger Looking to Reverse Pain in Spain at Vigo

The Birmingham Post (England), December 13, 2003 | Go to article overview

Football: CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Wenger Looking to Reverse Pain in Spain at Vigo


Byline: Mark Bradley

Arsene Wenger has insisted that Arsenal can finally reign in Spain as he looked for his side to put their struggles against La Liga outfits behind them in the Champions League knock-out stages.

Arsenal have drawn once --against Barcelona --and lost five times --against Valencia (twice), Deportivo La Coruna and Real Mallorca --in their six away European ties in Spain under Wenger.

It is a record which they will be looking to improve when they take on Celta Vigo --and former Gunners defender Silvinho --in the last 16 of the competition in a two-legged tie early next year.

The draw has nevertheless been relatively kind to Arsenal, especially as they could have been facing Deportivo or Bayern Munich instead.

Wenger declared: 'I respect Celta Vigo as they've come out of a difficult group in putting Ajax and Bruges out. I also respect the Spanish league as they are consistent in getting their teams through.

'But the positive side for us is that they're not doing well in their league and if that doesn't change, it could be a handicap for them.

'It's achievable for us and we want to go there with a positive attitude in the first game and try to win the game.

'We've had some disappointments away in Spain before. The biggest one was in the quarterfinals against Valencia in 2001, but we also did well at Barcelona.'

Celta Vigo, who are struggling near the foot of La Liga, won away to AC Milan to reach the last 16, although the Italian side, who had already qualified, did not field a full-strength side. …

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