Arsene Wenger remained wary about Arsenal’s chances of reaching the Champions League final after a narrow 1-0 win over Villarreal.
“I believe it is a good result but we will know after the second game. We wanted a second goal but sometimes we were too nervous,” said the Arsenal coach.
“We faced a good team, very strong in the midfield, and we couldn’t impose enough to create more chances.
“At home you never know what is enough in a semi-final and it is difficult to go forward.
“We want to keep a clean sheet in the second leg, and we have proved we can do that, but it is not enough to just go there and defend. We want to play our game and score goals.
“We have got Spurs on Saturday and then the second leg of the Champions League semi-final – so the next six days will define our season – but we are confident we can do it.
“It was a tense game in which we might have got more than one goal,” Wenger added. “We had to maintain a balance between keeping a clean sheet and going forward.
“Villarreal were tough to break down and they also broke up our counterattacks very well. It was difficult to dictate the play in the middle of the park because of the way Villarreal played. Maybe we paid the price for the number of games we have played.
“But I am optimistic and confident for the second leg. I believe in my team. We want to go there, try to score goals and play our own game.
“Tactically, they are very astute, very mature.”
Wenger’s counterpart, the Villarreal coach Manuel Pellegrini, believes his side still have a good chance of reaching next month’s final.
“We didn’t play too well tonight but it is not a bad result,” said the Chilean.
“Arsenal played quite well but we should have created better chances when we had the ball and I didn’t think we controlled the game enough. But we are still in contention and I believe we can go back home and get the result we need.
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