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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug 18, 2009

Wenger: Gunners in control but lucky with goals

Robin van Persie admitted luck was on Arsenal's side as they put one foot in the Champions League group stages with a 2-0 victory against Celtic in Glasgow.

William Gallas deflected in the opener while an own goal from Gary Caldwell settled matters in the 71st minute.

Dutch striker Van Persie told Sky Sports: "If you look at the first goal, it was a good free-kick and William's run made that goal. But it was very lucky.

"The second goal was a good attack and in the end their centre-back needed to make the touch. Again it was lucky.

"They played really well but you know if you score just before half-time it is a setback for them. We kept going and it was a good result.''

Van Persie insisted there was still all to play for in the second leg at the Emirates next week but admitted the Gunners are firmly in control.

"Nothing is impossible but it's looking good for us,'' he added.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger paid tribute to the efforts of the hosts, saying: "It was a fierce fight where Celtic have given absolutely everything.

"Overall I think we controlled the game but were lucky with the two goals we scored. Their energy tonight was sensational. Defensively they did very well and they never gave up.

"We are in front after 90 (minutes) so let's make sure we are in front after 180.''

Wenger's opposite number Tony Mowbray bemoaned the nature of Arsenal's goals but insisted his side can still reach the group stages.

"The nature of the goals was very disappointing, it sort of knocks the stuffing out of what you're trying to do,'' Mowbray told Sky Sports.

"But Arsenal were very good on the night; exceptional with the ball but brilliant without the ball. It was a frustrating night.

"We've got to go there next week and score the first goal and if we do that it might make it interesting.''

Caldwell believes Arsenal's performance provided a guide for where Celtic need to be if they are to really challenge in Europe.

"They were better than us, they passed the ball better,'' Caldwell said. "We've seen how far we have to go to get to that level. They're one of the best teams in the Champions League.''

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