Wenger sets sights on Champions League final

The Gunners boss believes his side has been unlucky in the knockout rounds of Europe in recent years but backed it to make progress in 2013-14.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is optimistic about his side's chances of reaching the final of the Champions League this season.

The north London club has reached the final just once during Wenger's 17-year reign, losing 2-1 against Barcelona in 2006, but has started this campaign in spectacular form and tops Group F following wins over Olympique de Marseille and Napoli.

The Gunners have been knocked out in the last 16 in their previous three European campaigns, but the Frenchman has renewed faith that his side can progress deep into the competition.

“We have experience - everywhere we go we try and play without any inhibitions,” the 63-year-old told UEFA.com. “We were a bit unlucky with draws in the last five or six years because we often came up against Barcelona, Bayern Munich or AC Milan, and it was very tight.

“Hopefully this season we'll progress to the quarters, semifinal or even final. Why not?”

Wenger has never won a European title with Arsenal and, while he is still frustrated by conceding the lead late on against Barcelona seven years ago, he acknowledged the many scalps the Gunners claimed on their way to the final.

“That season we got to the final without losing a game and without conceding a goal,” Wenger continued. “We basically lost the European cup in the last 13 minutes playing with 10 men. The biggest regret was losing having played so well with 10 men.

“In that season, we knocked out Real Madrid, with the likes of [Zinedine] Zidane and [David] Beckham, and Juventus, before facing Barcelona in the final.”

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