Football

Wenger: Fans will be vital

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Football News
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Arsene Wenger feels the Emirates Stadium crowd can prove "vital" in Arsenal's quest to overturn holders Manchester United and reach the final of the Champions League on Tuesday.

The Gunners were caught cold at Old Trafford last week, when United raced into an early lead, inspired by a passionate home support and Wenger believes the Arsenal faithful can make their stadium just as intimidating when his men must cancel out United's slender 1-0 advantage.

"They will be vital," the Arsenal manager declared. "It was one of the loudest Old Traffords I have seen, because Champions League semi-finals are maybe the most difficult game and most important game for everybody as you are 90 minutes from the final. We have the opportunity to put that pressure onto them, and certainly our fans will contribute to that."

Too many of Wenger's main men failed to fire in the first leg, when only a superb individual performance by goalkeeper Manuel Almunia prevented the tie already being beyond the Gunners.

However, with just one goal separating the sides, Wenger - boosted by the return of fit again leading scorer Robin van Persie - is confident the likes of captain Cesc Fabregas, England winger Theo Walcott and Togo striker Emmanuel Adebayor can carry Arsenal to an historic victory.

"There is no Mission Impossible for us," Wenger insisted, when asked if the game would be beyond his side should United get a crucial away goal.

"I believe that when we have beaten United at home in the Premier League, there have been plenty of opportunities - and I do not think that would change my belief at all if they score."

Wenger, whose side lost the 2006 final to Barcelona in Paris, added: "Everybody is focused and ready for the game. We are all aware it is our team performance that will be important rather than the responsibility on any individual.

"We are more than a selection of individuals. We are first a team. We have developed like that and our game is based on the collective play. I want them to focus on that. How well we play collectively will make the difference.

"I am very confident the team will produce a magnificent performance."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Topics:
Arsenal
Robin Van Persie
Emmanuel Adebayor
European News
Football
Premier League
Manuel Almunia
UEFA Champions League
Manchester United
Theo Walcott

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