Wenger: Victory crucial to development

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Football News

Arsene Wenger feels his Arsenal side will grow in stature following their dramatic penalty shoot-out win over Roma which secured a clean sweep of English clubs in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

Brazilian defender Juan capitalised on some poor defending to fire the Italians in front after just nine minutes at the Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday night and level the tie and - after neither side could find a way through as extra-time came and went - the clash was settled in the lottery of a shoot-out, which the Gunners won 7-6.

"I was very concerned if we were the only [English] side to go out, that it would have been detrimental to the progress of the team, so it will certainly help us to improve our confidence," Wenger said.

"The team has swum a lot against the stream.

"I believe this kind of result can increase the belief and the self-confidence which can help us for the rest of the season.

"But let's keep our feet on the ground and first win against Blackburn on Saturday."

Arsenal joined Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool in the quarter-finals, as Barclays Premier League clubs once again dominate the last eight.

"England can be very proud to have four teams in the quarter-finals for the second year, but we have not to be fooled," said Wenger.

"The games with the three Italian teams - Juventus, Inter and Roma - were very close and it looks like Italy is coming back."

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