Why I don’t want Arsenal to progress in Champions League – Mourinho

Jose Mourinho vs Arsenal Wenger
Jose Mourinho vs Arsenal Wenger

Chelsea Manager Jose Mourinho has courted controversy over his apparent wish to see Arsenal bundled out of Champions League.

Wenger is quoted on Mirror as saying that he would prefer Olympiacos to Arsenal when it came to qualifying for the last 16, a statement that has elicited sharp reactions mostly  from Arsenal fans.

Speaking a day after Chelsea’s 4-0 thrashing of Maccabi Tel Aviv, Mourinho said he wished Arsenal would lose lose the remaining slot to the Greek-club because it is coached by his “kid friend” Marco Silva.

“Arsenal are in a group where a kid friend of mine is the manager of Olympiacos and it would be fantastic for the kid’s career to go through,” said Mourinho.

“So I have to be honest and say that I would like the kid and Olympiacos to go on, and we know that Bayern go through for sure.”

The Chelsea manager said that though he usually prefers English clubs to progress in Champions League, he is making an exception for Arsenal.

Chelsea moved within a point to qualification into the next round after their win against Maccabi Tel Aviv on Tuesday.

Arsenal’s 3-0 win against Dinamo Zagreb on Tuesday night gave them a chance of qualifying for the last 16 of the Champions League competition.

The goals, courtesy of Mesut Ozil and a double from Alexis Sanchez, took Arsenal’s points to 6 placing them third in the log behind Olympiacos who have nine points having lost 4-0 to Bayern Munich on Tuesday.

Dinamo Zagreb are bottom of the table with three points.

With 12 points and top of the log, Bayern Munich has already secured qualification as the top position the only slot up for grabs is position two which is open to Olympiacos and Arsenal.

The last group encounter between the two teams at Karaiskakis Stadium in Greece on December 9 is therefore touted to be a mouth-watering affair with both Arsenal and Olympiacos determined to make the cut.

While Olympiacos just need a draw or a win of any margin to qualify, the Gunners need to beat Olympiacos by two clear goals, or win by one clear goal with a score line of 3-2 or higher to make it to the last 16.

Only one out of 39 teams have ever made it to the knockout stage after garnering three points from their four group stage matches, and Arsenal will be looking to enter the history books in their new attempt.

Since Champions League spots are decided on head-to-head records before goal differences are considered, Arsenal need to cancel out Olympiacos’ 3-2 win against them in September and win by two clear goals or win by one goal margin with a score line of 3-2 or higher.

A 3-2 win for Arsenal would level the head-to-head between the two teams, so the Gunners would go through on superior goal differences, which currently stands at -1 compared to Olympiacos -4.

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