Arsene Wenger refused to get carried away following Arsenal’s 4-1 victory over CSKA Moscow in their Europa League quarter-final first leg on Thursday.
A brace from Aaron Ramsey and two more from Alexandre Lacazette saw Arsenal earn a healthy three-goal advantage ahead of next week’s second leg in Russia, but Wenger insisted his side could not afford to relax.
The Europa League presents Arsenal’s only realistic hope of making next year’s Champions League.
“We will focus on the second game. It’s not job done. It’s not over. We have to go there with the right focus and try to win the game,” said the Frenchman.
“We are in the quarter-final, there is a long way to go, and we need to finish the job. We are not in the semi, so it’s too early to talk about winning it. We have suffered a lot recently, so that will help us to be really feet on the ground, humble, trying to do our job well.”
Despite the scoreline, Wenger heaped praise on CSKA for their attacking performance.
“It was a difficult game because they looked very good going forward, they came out very quickly every time we lost the ball. They took advantage of every mistake we made to come out and go forward.
“I thought the first half was spectacular, played at a high pace, but also it was an uncomfortable one for me because they looked dangerous. I always thought we could score but as well I was worried they could score. They are technically very good.
“I think CSKA Moscow is a good team, very good technically, quick going forward. They gave us many problems in the first half. Very mobile, very intelligent as well with their use of the ball.”
The Arsenal boss also congratulated midfielder Ramsey for a fine performance.
“For Aaron Ramsey it’s always the same,” Wenger said. “When you can play game after game you see that not only is he involved a lot in the build-up of games but he gets on the end of things.
“What has changed since 2013 – he’s a much better finisher nowadays. He’s calmer. The way he finishes, you see he’s composed. Before he rushed his finishing a little bit.”
Fans also praised the Welshman for his stunning second goal.
— Gavin Duffy (@GavinDuffy) April 5, 2018
That is filthy from Ramsey. WHAT A GOAL
— Abdulla (@valjaberi) April 5, 2018
Happy to live in the era of Messi, Ronaldo, Ramsey and Ozil.
— Dammit Arsenal (@DammitArsenal) April 5, 2018
Give Aaron Ramsey whatever he wants: a six-figure contract; the club’s captaincy; an animal conservation centre built at the Emirates. Anything he wants. He must stay at Arsenal for the long-term.
— 1886 (@1886_blog) April 5, 2018