Arsenal's Montemurro: We're in the Champions League for the long-haul

Arsenal manager Joe Montemurro Action Images via Reuters/John Sibley

Arsenal manager Joe Montemurro believes his squad are in the Champions League for the long-haul after they eased through their last-16 tie against Slavia Praha, writes Alex Ibaceta.

Dutch duo Vivianne Miedema and Danielle van de Donk both scored hat-tricks in the second leg, while fellow Dutch star Jill Roord buried a half volley and Kim Little slotted home a penalty to secure an 8-0 victory.

The Gunners dominated possession and despite some dangerous counter attacks from the Czech side, they were unable to capitalise in front of goal as the WSL champions beat them 13-2 on aggregate.

It is the first time since 2013/14 that Arsenal have progressed to the quarter-final stage of the competition and Montemurro praised his side for the confidence and versatility shown on the pitch.

“I’m very happy with the growth of the squad,” Montemurro said. “We are playing now with a little bit more maturity and comfort, so we are looking forward to playing the good teams actually.

“We know that one of the big teams is going to come up soon, so we have to be prepared.

“As much as we dread meeting the likes of Lyon in this competition, I’m pretty sure that they’ll dread meeting us too because we’re not here to just fill up numbers, we’re here to go all the way.”

Striker Miedema was at the heart of Arsenal’s attack, she scored her 52nd goal for the club in her first 50 starts and believes the team is riding a wave of confidence.

“It’s obviously quite high after last season and after the beginning of this season,” Miedema said.

“But I think a lot of the girls on the team are [confident] at the moment and you can see that.

“You can just see that we are really creative. I can drop in and I can play the final ball, all the players can play the final ball.

“I think that just shows the way that we want to play and the way we do play. I’m just really happy to be part of that.”

Elsewhere, Manchester City were knocked out of the Champions League for the second consecutive season by Atletico Madrid, after losing 3-2 on aggregate.

The sides went into the second leg in Spain level but an own goal from Steph Houghton and Angela Sosa’s close-range strike put Atletico in control while Pauline Bremer’s late goal was just a consolation for City.