Arsenal may have looked flat at Old Trafford but it was a different story during Tuesday morning’s training session at London Colney.
The squad looked to have a spring in their step as they were put through their paces by Arsene Wenger ahead of a winner-takes-all clash in Group A on Wednesday night.
The Gunners host French giants Paris Saint-Germain at the Emirates, knowing a win for either side will guarantee them top of the group and what should be a favourable draw in the Round of 16.
Both teams have already secured their spots in the first knockout round with victories in matchday four but there has been nothing to split them so far with the two neck and neck on 10 points.
Alexis Sanchez struck late to share the spoils in their first meeting at the Parc des Princes and with head-to-head taking precedence over goal difference, there is a good chance the group will be wrapped up by the end of the night.
Wenger will be desperate to finish top having only managed to do so once in the last six seasons, leading to a number of tough and ultimately unsuccessful draws.
‘I believe that the two teams have done the job until now,’ said Wenger at Tuesday’s press conference.
‘We have done it away from home, and now we can finish the job at home. We played a draw there. Now it’s down to us to win it here.’
‘It’s a luxury to be qualified after four games,’ he added. ‘Last year we had to battle until the end. This season we can finish the job after five games, which would mean we’ve done really well.’
His team will have to do without two crucial Spaniards for the visit of the Ligue 1 Champions, with both Hector Bellerin and Santi Cazorla continuing their recoveries from ankle and Achilles injuries respectively.
Lucas Perez, Danny Welbeck and Per Mertesacker also remain on the sidelines.
And Arsenal will need to perform better than they did at the weekend having been desperately lucky to come away from Old Trafford with a point.
A late Olivier Giroud equaliser saved the day against the struggling Red Devils and Wenger now wants his stars to prove what they can do on the big stage.
‘Look, we have to face the criticism and accept it,’ the Frenchman said.
‘We tried. We wanted to attack. In the first half, watching it again, we had a lot of possession but didn’t create enough chances or make enough of our possession.
After that we were resilient, came back, and we’ve done that many times in the season. Offensively, we can do better.’
‘For us it would be important to win the group. But to win a big game tomorrow, that’s important for us.
‘We have created a momentum, even if we are stuttering a little bit because we have not won the games recently. So we want to strengthen that momentum again with a few wins.’