Arsene Wenger: We Can Knock Out Monaco In Champions League
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes his side can still knock Monaco out of the Champions League despite trailing 3-1 in their last-16 tie.
They play the Ligue 1 side on Tuesday with no team having recovered from a similar deficit in the competition.
But Wenger said: “We have a massive challenge but we will give absolutely everything to try and go through.
“They are favourites but we can reverse it. We have to make sure the spirit, the belief and the desire is there.”
Wenger's side must score at least three goals to progress and warmed up with a 3-0 win against West Ham on Saturday to notch up their seventh win in eight games.
The only blemish in that run was the defeat by Monaco, which was made worse when Arsenal conceded in the 90th minute having scored moments beforehand.
Wenger called his side's defending “suicidal” and they will come up against a Monaco side which has conceded only seven goals from their last 22 games and will benefit from an extra day's rest having eased to a 3-0 win against 10-man Bastia on Friday.
Leonardo Jardim's side did not let in a goal in three home ties during the Champions League group stages, but Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil believes a positive week can help boost the Gunners against them.
“In football, things that may look unlikely can happen. I know that if we believe in ourselves and utilise our potential, we can still go through,” Ozil told Arsenal Player.
“We need to score three goals and Monaco are a team that play defensively, but we have to take initiative and score the first goal as quickly as possible to boost our confidence.
“It is going to be difficult to score three times because they have defended well in the tournament so far, but if you look at our past matches and the way we played against Manchester United [in the FA Cup quarter-final victory] last week, I think there's a chance we can still progress.”
Wenger, a former Monaco coach, said he had concerns about the pitch at the Stade Louis II.
“[A poor pitch] is one of the problems,” he said. “There has been a lot of rain down there and when it rains, it rains. It's not absolutely fantastic but we won't have any excuses.”