GLASGOW, August 18 – Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says he wants his side to finish the job at the Emirates Stadium after watching his side defeat Celtic 2-0 in the first leg of their Champions League play-off at Parkhead.
The Gunners find themselves in a commanding position in the tie after becoming the first English side to win at Celtic Park in 26 years.
But with a place in the group stages of the Champions League at stake Wenger warned his players not to get complacent ahead of the return in London in a fortnight’s time.
"We have a good advantage but it is 180 minutes. We are in front after 90 but when you want to go through you want to play well for 180 and that is our purpose," the Arsenal manager said.
"We want to win the home game against Celtic and of course qualify for the group stage. We are in a strong position and we want to take advantage of that.
"I believe we have to make sure we win the game at home. It would not be serious to take that game in a non-serious way.
"It is a massive game as what is at stake is massive to us. We want to play with the best and of course with an advantage of two goals we want to finish the job at home now."
Despite his side’s dominating performance the Arsenal boss admitted his side had been fortuitous with the goals.
Arsenal’s first came when captain Cesc Fabregas’ free-kick took a wild deflection off the back of William Gallas to give the Gunners a half-time lead before Gary Caldwell knocked Gael Clichy’s cross past Artur Boruc.
However, things could have been even worse for Celtic if Russian Andrei Arshavin’s first-half effort had not been ruled offside and Wenger said his side deserved their luck with the goals.
"I believe we forced them to make one or two mistakes at the back but I concede that we were lucky with the goals," the Frenchman said.
"But yes, of course, we merited the good fortune.
"We had plenty of opportunities in the first 15 minutes of the second-half where we missed finding the goal and the pass.
"I give credit to my team. Even at 1-0 we didn’t drop off and we kept playing very high up and putting them under pressure and that was a very positive attitude.
"The crowd was absolutely up for it, the players were up for it here and if it had been an average performance from Arsenal we wouldn’t have won the game."
Celtic manager Tony Mowbray conceded the defeat, their second successive loss at home in European competition this season, had left the Hoops’ Champions League hopes hanging by a thread.
But the former West Bromwich Albion boss promised to take the game to Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in a bid to turn around the tie.
"There is no doubting the fact that it is a big ask for us now," Mowbray added.
"But if we score the first goal it will be interesting to see their supporters react and their team react.
"I think everyone in the room knows Arsenal have better players than us but better teams and better players don’t always win football matches.
"It is going to be a difficult job for us. The secret for me is to go there and be positive and try and score the first goal.
"If you do that it changes everything. We will go there with a positive frame of mind with that target and hopefully it will see us score a goal.
"That would make them very nervous and edgy, but if they score first we aren’t going to score four at the Emirates."