Wenger: Arsenal must improve for Champions League knockout rounds

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes his team have to do better in the next round of the Champions League after they confirmed qualification for the knockout stages with a game to spare, ESPN has reported.

Yaya Sanogo and Alexis Sanchez scored as the Gunners beat Group D rivals Borussia Dortmund at the Emirates Stadium, Dortmund having gone unbeaten in the competition to that point and already booked their place in the tournament after Christmas.

Dortmund are expected by Wenger to qualify as group winners, something the manager is worried about as it means his team are likely to get a more difficult opponent, as they have done in past season. “If you look at the last five or six years, we got the teams we didn’t want,” Wenger said.

“From now until February, we need to improve as a team, get encouragement from the Dortmund game and then hope we have nearly all our players back in the next round,” he continued. “You see who is qualified around Europe and there are many teams who are at the top, top level. There are three or four teams you don’t want to play.”

Wenger added that Arsenal would go into their final group game, away at Galatasaray, with the intention of winning so they can capitalise on any mistake made by Dortmund at Anderlecht. “I will try to win the last game and you never know,” he remarked. “If Anderlecht win in Dortmund and we don’t win in Galatasaray you will say we were stupid. It is unlikely, let’s say it is 90% that we will finish second and Dortmund finish first.”

Arsenal are two points behind the German side, with 10 points from their opening five games. They are five points clear of Anderlecht with a game to play, having drawn 3-3 at home with the Belgians, giving up a three-goal lead, while Galatasaray are bottom with only one point.

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