Cesc Fàbregas thrilled to see Arsenal reach group stages

Former Arsenal captain believes the Gunners' 2-1 win over Udinese on Wednesday is "big boost" for the club

cesc fabregas
Fàbregas rejoined Barcelona earlier this month Photo: The Sport Review

cesc fabregas

Cesc Fàbregas has told his former Arsenal team-mates to use their qualification for the Champions League group stages as a launchpad to a successful season.

The ex-Gunners captain said he watched the north Londoners battle back from a goal down to seal a 2-1 win over Udinese on Wednesday as Arsène Wenger’s men booked their place in the group stages of Europe’s elite club competition for the 14th successive season.

And Fàbregas believes the result will provide an important boost for his former club as they bid to regroup following his return to Barcelona and the departures of Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy.

“Yes, I watched it,” said Fàbregas when asked if he followed the game. “I became a bit scared when they scored but after we saved the penalty the game became more comfortable for us and I think we played very well.

“I’m very happy for Arsenal and for their fans because they deserve to be in the Champions League.

“It’s a big boost for the club and for the players because it is a very difficult season and I’m sure from this they will get so much confidence and they can move forwards.”

Nasri, who completed his £25m move to Manchester City on Wednesday, incurred the wrath of some Arsenal fans after he suggested the Gunners’ supporters have been less passionate since the club left Highbury for Emirates Stadium.

And although Fàbregas admits he has never felt as comfortable in any other ground as he did at Highbury, the 24-year-old Spain midfielder says the Gunners have everything they need to achieve success at The Emirates.

“I’ve never felt at home as I felt at Highbury in any other stadium around the world, but this was the club’s decision and that was what they needed at that moment,” he continued.

“Highbury was a special thing. Arsenal have to make the Emirates Stadium their own home now, with their own cabinet of trophies to start over again.”

Fàbregas, who completed his £35m return to his boyhood club earlier this month, added that he has already settled in at the Camp Nou.

“It’s nice because I know basically 90 per cent of the players and they made it very easy for me,” he said.

“It’s a pleasure for me to be part of this great football club and this great team and we just want to focus now on tomorrow [the Uefa Super Cup match against Porto] and the rest of the season.

“It’s going to be a very difficult season, we play every three days basically from now to the end so we will have to be mentally very strong and take care of ourselves because it will be very tough.”

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