Avoid Bayern Munich and Arsenal can win the Champions League: Jurgen Klopp's verdict after seeing his Borussia Dortmund side denied by a brilliant defensive performance from the English Premier League side.
In an I-won-let-you-pass-through-no-matter-what performance of real note, Arsenal grabbed a 1-0 win over Dortmund in the Champions League, thanks to a no-prizes-for-guessing Aaron Ramsey winner.
"Yes, they can win it," Klopp said when asked if Arsenal could go all the way in Europe this season. "They are young, healthy and have good technicians. They won a clever game tonight [Wednesday] and could go to the final and win it -- so long as they don't play Bayern Munich."
Arsenal were pushed to defending for the majority of the game, but their defensive display was nothing short of magnificent as Arsene Wenger's side dispelled all doubts over his team's character and fighting qualities.
Wenger had criticised his side after the loss to Dortmund in the reverse tie a fortnight ago for showing naivety in defence. Well, there were no such problems this time around as Per Mertesacker marshalled his back-four quite brilliantly to ensure the Gunners left his homeland with all three points.
"We had a united, focused performance, especially defensively," Wenger said. "I must say Dortmund put us under huge pressing. We had a lot of possession but it was a bit sterile possession in the first half because we could not create chances.
"It was a question of being focused, intelligent and not to make the first mistake, to wait for the moment where we could create openings in their defence. We did that. We had a difficult period at start of second half.
"After we scored I felt we could have scored a second goal and we were less under pressure. Overall it's a huge win here. If you look at the results they have made at home in the Champions League, not many teams have achieved that. Overall the whole team has shown a huge solidarity to get through difficult moments of the game."
Prior to Ramsey's winner, Arsenal really had not created a single chance to trouble the Dortmund defence, as the home side kept putting them under pressure.
"We looked more stable defensively because we have experience in midfield not to lose the ball in stupid positions," Wenger added. "Dortmund are especially dangerous when you lose the ball -- to counter that, you need maturity. If you have a very young team tonight you would be overrun and lose that game by a high score. We look more stable defensively."
Klopp found it a little hard to digest the fact that his side had come out of the crunch game without a single point to show for it, but had to tip his hat for the defensive performance from the Gunners.
"It was 50-50 wasn't it? They had their first attempt on goal in the 63rd minute and they scored," the Dortmund manager said. "We had a lot of super moments, but we were not precise enough. We had 11 shots before they scored and sometimes it was like they were defending with four legs."
Arsenal jumped into pole position in Group E with nine points from four matches, with Napoli also right up there with them after their 3-2 victory over Marseille. Dortmund are three points behind the top two, and the Group of Death looks like it will go right to the final matchday of the group stages.
"I have a lot of respect for Dortmund because they are a very good side," Wenger said. "Unfortunately this group is a very strong group, and one of the big teams will have to pay a heavy price. I hope it will not be us, but of course this is a huge result."