Champions League

Wenger wants clean sheet against Barca

2016-02-23 11:36
Arsene Wenger (Supplied)

Cape Town - Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has highlighted the importance of keeping a clean sheet in their Champions League clash with Barcelona on Tuesday.

The Gunners will host the first leg of their Round of 16 clash at the Emirates Stadium, where the French tactician is determined to avoid the "knife in your heart" of an away goal ahead of the second leg at Camp Nou.

"I am more concerned about stopping them from scoring because you can say even at home in the Champions League that 0-0 is not a bad score," he said ahead of the match.

"Recently we made it always difficult for ourselves by conceding goals at home and basically the rules of the modern European Cup encourage you to defend at home and attack away because of the importance of the away goal.

"Many times I said that should be suppressed because if you concede a goal at home in the Champions League, it's a knife in your heart every time. Against big, big teams it becomes very difficult.

"I cannot go into a game and think I will just play a zero-zero. I believe you cannot say you are a big club and you just want to defend. On the other hand, Barcelona is a very offensive team.

"So to give you no chance at all to score against them is guilty as well. You have to try to score against them because if they have a vulnerability like we have it is defensively like with any offensive team."

Despite Wenger's attention to away goals, Barca have not needed them to defeat Arsenal in recent years, with the Catalans winning 6-3 on aggregate when they met in the 2009/10 tournament, and 4-3 a year later.

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