[UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE] Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger insisted that the Gunners' thrilling 2-1 comeback victory over
Barcelona doesn't change the fact that they are still the underdog in their UEFA Champions League series, but it did prove one thing: they can beat a team considered by many to be invincible.
"We are not the favorites now," the Frenchman said. "But what is important is we believe we have a chance and we'll go for it. Barcelona are still favorites. But after tonight we know that we can beat them. And we didn't know that last year."
When Arsenal and Barcelona met last season in the quarterfinals, they tied, 2-2, at the Emirates Stadium and Barca won, 4-1, at home thanks to four Lionel Messi goals.
Barcelona took the lead in the first half on a goal by David Villa and looked to be heading to another win when Arsenal rallied for a pair of late goals scored by Robin van Persie and Andrey Arshavin -- set up brilliantly by through balls from Frenchmen Gael Clichy and Samir Nasri -- in the final 12 minutes. (Highlights)
Barcelona had more than 60 percent of the possession, but Arsenal was able to stay in the game because of its attacking prowess.
Wenger started five attacking players -- van Persie and Theo Walcott up front and Cesc Fabregas, Jack Wilshere and Nasri in midfield -- and brought on Arshavin for defensive midfielder Alex Song early in the second half.
"I wanted to go for it offensively," said Wenger. "We needed to score two goals. I just took a gamble -- it could have backfired to 2-0 or 3-0 but it worked. I'm very proud for Arsenal tonight. Because everybody urged us to play differently to our nature and this result will strengthen the belief in our philosophy. That's important."