Arsenal up for Bridge battle – Sagna

Sagna believes Arsenal came through a real test of character with a

3-1 victory over 10-man Partizan in Serbia – but knows a tougher

challenge awaits at Stamford Bridge. Gunners boss Arsene Wenger

made half-a-dozen changes from the team which had suffered a shock

3-2 home defeat by West Brom last weekend, ending their unbeaten

start to the domestic season. However, after the players had to

change in the dark following a power failure before weathering an

early onslaught from Partizan, who were spurred on by a ferocious

support, Arsenal snatched the lead through Andrey Arshavin, but

then wasted several chances before Cleo levelled from the spot. The

Gunners regrouped for the second half and eventually their pressure

told when Partizan defender Marko Jovanovic was sent off for

hauling down Marouane Chamakh. Although Arshavin missed the

resulting penalty, headed goals from Chamakh and Sebastien

Squillaci, his first since arriving from Sevilla, gave the visitors

a two-goal lead, which was preserved when stand-in keeper Lukasz

Fabianski – deputising for the injured Manuel Almunia – saved a

late penalty as Arsenal recorded a first European away win in more

than a year. Captain Cesc Fabregas and centre-half Thomas Vermaelen

could return for Sunday’s trip to the Premier League leaders where

Sagna knows Arsenal’s title credentials will again be under the

spotlight. “We had to win against Partizan because we did not play

well at the weekend, conceding three goals,” the France full-back

said. “Every game is a test because the season is long, where you

have to play match after match. “Now we need to stay focused and

look forward to the next game, and we have to make something at

Chelsea. We have to play our football. “We know we have the quality

to beat them. “It will be an open game, but it will be about us,

not them.” After one of the floodlights failed following a series

of power cuts in the main stand, there was some doubt whether the

match would actually go ahead before the referee got agreement from

both sides. Sagna revealed the Arsenal players saw the funny side

of things, but got serious as soon as they went on to the pitch.

“The lights went off, so we had to use the lights from the phones

to get ready,” he said. “It was quite funny, but we stayed focused

and came on the pitch to get the win.”