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Stevens insists Arsenal are favourites

25 October 2012 01:45

Huub Stevens believes Arsenal are still favourites to win Champions League Group B despite going down 2-1 to his Schalke side on Wednesday.

Schalke became the first foreign side to win an away match at Arsenal in the Champions League group stage since 2003, thanks to second-half goals from Klaas Jan-Huntelaar and Ibrahim Affelay.

The Bundesliga club now top Group B with two wins and a draw though, a point ahead of Arsenal, who are second.

"I think Arsenal is the favourite in this group," Stevens said.

"They have all the players fit, I think Arsenal is the favourite.

"It's not important to me how Arsenal are playing. It's important how Schalke is playing and I was not satisfied in the first half but in the second half I think we played how we can play.

"Records are not important for me. For me it's important that the team is playing well. And in the first half we did not play well. In the second half we played a good game and after 90 minutes I think that it's right that we won 2-0.

"The two goals for us? I think (Klaas-Jan) Huntelaar - you didn't see his complete game but when he is in the box he is very important for us and you saw it. And the second goal was really good from (Ibrahim) Affelay."

Arsenal's assistant manager Steve Bould acknowledged his team were well below their best, but paid tribute to an effective Schalke side.

"We haven't played anything like we can, we haven't performed today," he said.

"We lack confidence for whatever reason. It is a tough competition and they (Schalke) are a good side in all fairness - they beat (Borussia) Dortmund at the weekend and played really well. A 0-0 would have delighted us."

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Info

0 - 2

Competition
UEFA Champions League
Date
24 October 2012
Game week
3
Kick-off
20:45
Half-time
0 - 0
Full-time
0 - 2
Venue
Emirates Stadium (London)
Attendance
60049

Goals

0 - 1
76' K. Huntelaar
 (assist by I. Afellay)
0 - 2
86' I. Afellay
 (assist by J. Farfán)

Lineups

# Player Bookings
36
22
23
4
32
11 14' 86'
17
33
10
12 39'
25 76'
Coach: H. Stevens

Substitutes

# Player Bookings
12
23
47
6
20
29
60
# Player Bookings
13
27
8
28
31
34
35

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