Wenger was 'never nervous'

Image: Wenger: Never worried

Arsene Wenger insists he was always confident of qualification during the 3-1 win over Partizan Belgrade.

Gunners boss not concerned despite nervy win

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger insists he was always confident of qualification to the knockout rounds of the UEFA Champions League during the 3-1 win over Partizan Belgrade. The Gunners secured a place in the last 16 of the competition although at one point the Serbian outfit had them at 1-1 and with Braga drawing at Shakhtar Donetsk, a goal for the Portuguese side would have dumped Arsenal out. But substitute Theo Walcott produced a fine finish to make it 2-1 and Samir Nasri finished an excellent team move to make sure of the win, although the North Londoners will now face Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich or Schalke. There was still time for Bacary Sagna to be shown the red card for a last-man tug on Aleksandar Lazevski, but Wenger was always confident of the three points. He said: "I was never really nervous. Worried yes, because you cannot say you don't worry when it is 1-1. "But I felt we had the resources to score and in the last 20 minutes they would drop physically. I was always confident that we would qualify but you never know. "We didn't find our pace in the game. We didn't manage to find openings in their defence and they defended very well. "We have a 50 per cent chance to travel to Spain and we have a 50 percent chance to travel to Germany. If you ask me what I prefer, I don't know. "Barcelona are super favourites in the competition. But we take what we get. We'll see."

Positives

He added: "Overall we are in a strong position in the league, we are qualified in the Champions League, we are in the Semi-Final of the League Cup and we start the FA Cup in January. "There are plenty of exciting challenges in front of us but there is room for improvement and I am confident we will improve." Partizan coach Aleksandar Stanojevic added: "We had some good moments in all the matches, but made too many mistakes against quality opponents, which is why we finished bottom. "Arsenal were not that much better than us, they had just 57 per cent of possession, but after our mistakes, they scored three goals and it was not easy to come back. "However, I am satisfied with our season in the Champions League, it was a big experience for our young team."

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