By Will Butcher
Per Mertesacker has claimed that Arsenal fear nobody after qualifying for the knockout phase of the Champions League.
The Gunners’ club captain watched from the sidelines as his side drew 2-2 with French champions Paris Saint-Germain at the Emirates, conceding a late equaliser through an Alex Iwobi own goal.
Posting on his personal Twitter account, Mertesacker believed Arsene Wenger’s side fought well against the likes of Edinson Cavani, Angel Di Maria and Thiago Silva, and is ready to face any of Europe’s elite in the next round.
Uruguayan hitman Cavani had given PSG the lead with his 16th goal in as many games, but Giroud and a Verratti own goal had given Arsenal hope. With 13 minutes remaining, Iwobi inadvertently deflected the ball past David Ospina.
Currently in second, Arsenal have one game left to leapfrog PSG into first place in Group A. They must beat FC Basel in Switzerland, and hope Unai Emery’s side slip up to Ludogorets at home.
Mertesacker, 32, is yet to feature for the Gunners this season after injuring his knee in pre-season against French outfit RC Lens.
The return of the North London giants’ club captain will come as a boost to manager Wenger, but the World Cup winner may find it difficult to return to the side after the signing of compatriot Shkodran Mustafi.
Arsenal next face Bournemouth at the Emirates, as they look end a run of three consecutive draws on Sunday.