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Wenger confident of place in group stages after Celtic Park victory

PUBLISHED: 09:27 19 August 2009 | UPDATED: 16:22 07 September 2010

Arsene Wenger said he expects Arsenal to beat Celtic at the Emirates next week following his side s 2-0 victory in Glasgow on Tuesday night. The Gunners are overwhelming favourites to progress to the Champions League Group stages after two lucky goals gav

Arsene Wenger said he expects Arsenal to beat Celtic at the Emirates next week following his side's 2-0 victory in Glasgow on Tuesday night.

The Gunners are overwhelming favourites to progress to the Champions League Group stages after two lucky goals gave them a huge advantage ahead of the second leg of their third qualifying round tie.

William Gallas gave the visitors a 43rd minute lead when a Cesc Fabregas free kick deflected off his back and past Celtic goalkeeper Artur Boruc, before Hoops defender Gary Caldwell put through his own net with 19 minutes remaining as he tried to cut out Gael Clichy's teasing cross.

The result meant Arsenal became the first English side to win at Celtic Park since Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest 26 years ago.

"We dominated the game but Celtic were always fighting and counter-attacking and in the end, despite being in control, we scored two lucky goals," said the Arsenal manager.

"But yes, of course, we merited the good fortune. The crowd was up for it and the team was up for it.

"If it had been an average performance from Arsenal we would not have won the game.

"The atmosphere was better than the Premier League."

Looking ahead to next Wednesday's return in north London, the Frenchman, who is aiming for a 12th successive season of Champions League football, added: "We have a good advantage, but it is 180 minutes and we are in front after 90.

"You want to play well for 180 and that is our purpose. We have to make sure we win the game at home - have to take it serious, it is a massive game."

Celtic manager Tony Mowbray tried his best to remain positive: "Until the first goal I thought we had done extremely well to deny Arsenal opportunities.

"Maybe if we score first at Arsenal it could make them a bit nervous, so let's wait and see. (But) let's not disguise the fact that it is a big ask for us.


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