Standard Leige's Mohamed Sarr (left) challenges Arsenal's Andrey Arshavin (right) for the ballYesterday’s cruise in the Champions League is something Andrey Arshavin could have only dreamed about just a year ago.

The 28-year-old is thanking his fortunes for being at a club where sailing into the competition’s knock-out stages is never really a concern.

Arshavin – who played his part in Arsenal’s clinching victory over Standard Liege – was agonizingly eliminated in the group stages of the competition last season despite an inspired challenge with Real Marid and Juventus by his former club Zenit St. Petersburg.

He may have seen blood yesterday but there was more delight than pain for Arshavin who made a new step in his career with bettered chances at a Champions League medal.

And as several of Europe’s biggest names struggle to survive the group stages of the competition this season, Arshavin is right to feel he made the best choice when a host of clubs once came calling.

“Honestly, I cannot remember the last time in my career where my team qualified for the next round of a competition ahead of schedule like this.” Arshavin said.

“Never thought about it. “

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Randy Osae - Chief Author

Sports journalist, dedicated fan of Arsenal FC and part-time graphic designer - graduate of Texas A&M University.