Lessons learned will be crucial

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LONDON, February 24 – Bacary Sagna has warned his Arsenal team-mates they must learn from last season's Champions League exit to Liverpool ahead of Tuesday's last 16 first leg clash against Roma.

BACARY_SAGNAArsene Wenger’s team were four minutes away from reaching the semi-finals last year before conceding the two late goals that condemned them to an agonising quarter-final defeat at Anfield.

Now the Gunners are back in the knockout stages of Europe’s elite club competition and France right-back Sagna hopes they will be more composed if they take the lead against the Italians at the Emirates Stadium.

"It was very disappointing (to lose to Liverpool). We have to learn and be wiser in this kind of game," Sagna said.

"We have to remember this kind of game so we don’t make the same mistakes. We know if we play our own football we can be dangerous and we can win important games against teams like Liverpool."

After a dismal run of one goal in their last four league games, Arsenal were booed off by supporters at the Emirates Stadium at the end of their goalless draw with Sunderland on Saturday.

Sagna admits he understands the fans’ frustrastion but he pleaded with them to appreciate how determined the squad are to get back on track.

"They love football and wish to see their team winning all the time and scoring goals," Sagna said.

"We understand their frustration but they have to understand we are human first and we give everything.

"I don’t know why we can’t score at the moment but the team is working hard, I can tell you. On the pitch we gave everything. Maybe it was not enough."
T

he Champions League represents Arsenal’s salvation after their domestic struggles in the Premier League and Sagna believes it is time for the team to go out and put their full potential on display.

"Last season we were close to doing something but missed out. We know we can go far in the Champions League and will try to do it," he said.

"We are young so we have nothing to lose. We just play like Arsenal used to play and enjoy it on the pitch.

"We know we can play good football. We all want to win something this season. We have to help each other on and off the pitch. At the moment the atmosphere is very good even when we are not winning. We try to keep working hard in training."

Sagna expects Roma playmaker Francesco Totti to be the main threat to his side’s hopes of reaching the last eight.

Totti has returned from injury in time for the trip to north London and Sagna knows it is essential that his midfield team-mates to give the Italian forward no time on the ball.

"He is a great player. He has shown that many times," Sagna said.

"We know him. He is very dangerous. He is a very technical player. The midfield will have to close him down."

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