The Independent London Newspaper
21st May 2019

IN THE GROVE: All eyes on Monday’s Champions League draw

    Published: 8 December, 2016
    by STEVE BARNETT

    ARSENE Wenger urged fans to remember that Arsenal still face “a difficult draw” on Monday despite finishing top of their Champions League group. 

    Spanish striker Lucas Perez stole the headlines with a hat-trick in a 4-1 win against Basel on Tuesday, which, coupled with Paris Saint-Germain being held to a 2-2 draw against Ludogorets Razgrad, saw the Gunners top Group A with 14 points out of a possible 18. 

    The draw for the knockout stages takes place in Nyon in Switzerland at 11am on Monday, where Wenger is hoping his side will avoid the likes of German champions Bayern Munich. 

    “It will be difficult but we will have less guilt because we feel we’ve done the job by finishing first, and we play our second game in the knockout stages at home,” said the Frenchman. 

    “That’s what we wanted. After that, there is not much difference in the draw, whether you win your group or finish second, certainly not at the moment.” 

    Wenger was also full of praise for Perez, who may well have played his way into the Arsenal manager’s starting line-up ahead of the Premier League game against Stoke on Saturday at the Emirates. 

    “The first two looked like quite easy goals, and were what we call tap-ins in England, but they were created by the team and you still have to be there to finish,” he said. 

    “The first goal is a real striker’s goal. He scored more than 20 goals in Spain last season and he has shown why.” 

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