In the latest Arsenal news, manager Arsene Wenger has warned his players to guard against complacency in the second leg of their Europa League quarter-final tie against CSKA Moscow after winning the first game 4-1.
The Gunners ripped through the Russians thanks to an impressive first-half display on Thursday night, with Alexandre Lacazette, making his first start in Europe this season, grabbing a brace while Aaron Ramsey was also on target twice.
Aleksandr Golovin’s excellent free-kick turned out to be nothing more than a consolation for the visitors as Arsenal made it five wins on the bounce, taking a giant stride towards the semi-finals of the Europa League in the process.
The north Londoners’ advantage could have been even bigger had Lacazette, Ramsey and Henrikh Mkhitaryan not wasted great chances during the second half, with Wenger insisting the tie is far from over ahead of next week’s trip to Russia.
“We have to be realistic. We have to do the job over there, go and try to win the game, that’s the best way,” said Wenger.
“We have done half of a job. There was a good pace in the first half, the two teams gave everything, which is why it was such a spectacular first half.”
The Europa League would appear to be Arsenal’s best chance of Champions League qualification given they are 13 points off fourth place in the Premier League, with seven games to go.
Wenger’s men are currently priced at 5/2 with bet365 to win the Europa League, with Spanish side Atletico Madrid the 11/10 favourites.
The Gunners’ focus on Europe could see them rest several of Thursday’s starters when Southampton arrive at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
However, they will be unable to call on goalkeeper David Ospina after he picked up an ankle injury in training while Wenger says Mkhitaryan will miss this weekend’s game after suffering a knee injury against CSKA.