Arsene Wenger has urged his Arsenal players to believe in the prospect of an improbable UEFA Champions League turnaround at Monaco on Tuesday.
The Premier League club endured a humiliating 3-1 defeat when the sides met in the first leg of their last-16 clash at Emirates Stadium last month.
No team in the Champions League era has progressed going into the second leg of a tie needing to score more than once away from home to avoid elimination.
Barring this unprecedented comeback, Arsenal will exit at the first knockout round for a fifth consecutive season, but their form since Monaco’s triumphant night in London offers plenty of reasons for encouragement.
Danny Welbeck returned to haunt his old club with an FA Cup quarter-final winner at Manchester United on Monday and Saturday’s 3-0 derby victory over West Ham United was a fifth consecutive league success that closed Wenger’s men to within a point of out-of-form Manchester City in second.
“We now go to Monaco and come out of a big week because we played at Man United, we played a derby,” Wenger said on the club’s website. “We need belief to prepare well so let’s do that.
“After that we’ll see. If you have no belief, you have no chance.
“We have to believe we can do it and give everything.
“We know this time Monaco are favourites so we have to go there, give absolutely everything and come back out of the game with that feeling.”