Ahead of Arsenal’s trip to Bayern Munich on Tuesday in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League knockout round, Arsenal know they need a near miracle to advance to the quarterfinal stage.
But having beaten Bayern 2-0 at the same stage last season at the Allianz Arena, but losing 3-2 on aggregate, the Gunners now only too well that it can be done.
Bayern’s players know that too as they are confident, yet wary, of Arsenal, heading into Tuesday’s clash. Munich forward Thomas Müller had the following to say to Bayern’s website.
“We took away a good result from the first leg and we want to produce a solid performance to get through to the next round,” Munich striker Müller, who scored the killers second goal in the first leg, said. “We learned a lesson and we know what happened last year. That serves as a warning. I don’t expect us to lose 2-0 again.”
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With talk of last year’s result (a repeat this season would take the game into extra time and PKs if needed) still emanating from the Bayern camp, you have to feel as though Arsenal have left a lasting impression on the Bavarian club.
Munich waltzed past the likes of Juventus and FC Barcelona last season on the way to lifting the Champions League title, with their only defeat in the knockout stages coming at home against Arsenal.
But after winning 10-straight games since the Bundesliga’s winter break this season and stretching their lead at the summit of the German top-flight to 20 points, it’s hard to see why Bayern fear Arsenal. Especially after the first leg where they wore the Gunners down, although they did struggle in North London early on.
The reigning European champions should respect the Gunners, who possess several top class players and a hugely experienced manager, but this Bayern side seem to fear no one. Except, perhaps, Arsenal.
Check back into ProSoccerTalk for all the latest news, recaps and analysis from the UCL knockout games.