LONDON – Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta praised his side after they romped into the knockout stages of the Champions League by sweeping RC Lens aside 6-0 on a freezing night in north London on Wednesday.

The Gunners’ 6-0 win was the biggest ever victory by an English team against a French opponent in European competition.

“I didn’t even dream like this,” Arteta told reporters. “We had the chance to qualify today and be top of the group and I think we’ve done it in a really convincing way.

“The team from the beginning showed a lot of aggression and determination to go for the game. Everything happened in the right way in the first 30 minutes.”

Arteta said his side had been showing a similar form at home for a while, and he welcomed the fact that six different players had got their names on the score sheet.

“The consistency that we’ve shown at home to not concede any goals and score lots is a really positive factor,” he said.

“Those players need to have those experiences and believe that we can do it against those opponents.”

He was keen to play down his ambitions in Europe’s biggest club competition, however.

“Now let’s wait. We have to park it, we will know in February who we’re facing (in the next round) and let’s see how we are in that moment.”

The manager was also delighted to see that his players kept at their task right up until the final whistle, despite the match having been effectively settled within the first half-hour.

“When the team has that body language, living every action and every game the way we do, good things are going to come… The team wants to win, doesn’t want to concede anything and that’s the mentality that we need to become better.” REUTERS



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