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Belgrade win gives Arsenal confidence to tackle Chelsea

PUBLISHED: 16:11 29 September 2010

Goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski of Arsenal saves a penalty from Partizan striker Cleo

Goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski of Arsenal saves a penalty from Partizan striker Cleo

2010 Getty Images

ARSENE Wenger says his side travel to Chelsea on Sunday with confidence after their win in Belgrade, writes Jem Maidment.

ARSENE Wenger says his side travel to Chelsea on Sunday with confidence after their win in Belgrade, writes Jem Maidment.

The Gunners top Champions League Group H on goal difference over Shakhtar Donetsk following their 3-1 victory over Partizan – their second successive win in the competition.

The Ukrainian champions travel to Emirates Stadium next on October 19.

“For us it was important to win straight away after a big disappointment against West Brom,” said the Arsenal manager, who hopes skipper Cesc Fabregas, absent from Tuesday’s match in Serbia, can recover from a hamstring strain to take on the Premier League leaders at Stamford Bridge.

“We had a lot of the ball and created a lot of chances – we needed to keep the pace high and when we got the second goal, I thought we looked comfortable.

“It puts us in a good position confidence-wise. Sunday is a big, big game for us. I believe we will go there with a desire to do extremely well.”

Wenger also singled out goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianksi for praise after he saved a penalty from Brazilian striker Cleo and produced at least two more excellent stops to deny Partizan.

The Pole replaced under-fire No1 Manuel Almunia, who has an elbow injury and could miss the trip to Chelsea.

“I am confident he [Fabianski] will come out as a great keeper, I have always said that,” added Wenger.

“We have to keep confidence in him and he needs to gain experience from games like this.”

Teenager Jack Wilshere, who was oustanding in Belgrade before being withdrawn as a precautionary measure after 74 minutes, also backed Fabianski.

“We stuck to our guns and deserved the win,” said the midfielder. “Our keepers have been under a lot of pressure, but Lukasz did well and made a great save at the end, so fair play to him.”


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