Friday, November 17, 2017

Arsenal can lament not finishing first in group stage last fall – reactions

February 20, 2014 by  
Filed under UEFA Champions League

Arsenal 0-2 Bayern Munich 

It was anticipated this way honestly.. Arsenal do not have the power to overcome an armada like Bayern Munich, last year champion. All the blame is to put on the points given up in Napoli at the last game, where a single point would have given the chance to finish first and to play Zenith Saint Petersburg. Instead they lost 3-2… It would have certainly be an easier task than Bayern Munich. There are still some hope for the Gunners but do not raise your expectations too high, it is unlikely to happen with Bayern Munich. Many sport bookmakers have already ruled them out like Manchester City and Bayer Leverkusen also suffered home losses the day before.

Coach Arsene Wenger reacts after the game:

on Szczesny’s red card…
I think these rules are different in every country, basically, in Italy they send off for this kind of foul. I think our keeper went genuinely for the ball, he touched Robben, who made certainly more of it, and I told him. Unfortunately it changed the game completely and didn’t just change the game but killed the game. The game was, until then, top quality, and in the second half it was boring for neutral people. It was one-way traffic. The referee made the decision that killed the game.

on Robben…
He has enough experience to know to make more of it. Overall I thought Bayern made a lot of every single contact, we are not used to that in England. There were fouls given today that usually are not given in the Premier League, but it’s different rules and we have to accept it.

on how the game changed…
I just feel frustrated. It was a great football game until half-time and it was no game at all after half-time. And on a European night that’s really frustrating because the game delivered what it promised at the start, but it was not the same game in the second half. We just had to try and keep it at 0-0 and try and get a chance on a set-piece or a counter-attack.

on Mesut Ozil’s penalty…
He missed a penalty… with his style of play… what can I say? They missed one as well. The regret I have is that we missed our penalty. We needed that tonight because you could see that Bayern was on the ropes at the start of the game. We had three good chances in the first 15 minutes, we started the game well. I feel too make them more insecure we needed to score that penalty. But he missed it.

on Ozil’s confidence…
Look, you are always concerned about the confidence of your players because that’s your petrol in a team. Your confidence is what gives them the desire to go and play. In our job you have to deal with that.

on leaving out Giroud…
It was just a decision based on performance. When I play Giroud in every game, people reproach me from playing him in every game. When I rest him, people reproach me for rested him. Tonight I rested him so you should be happy. It was not punishment, it was just a decision tonight. Giroud is a strong character, and what happened doesn’t influence his behaviour on the pitch. I just decided to give him a breather for one or two games, and to give him a chance to come back refreshed. As well I wanted to give an opportunity to Sanogo, and I think he did very well.

on the second leg…
It isn’t over because we will fight until the end. We knew at half-time we had to try and keep it at 0-0 and we will see what happens. It was a similar repetition to what happened last night at Man City. We were down to 10 men and conceded a goal in the last minute because maybe we wanted to score on the free-kick and got a bit caught on the counter-attack.

On the other side, Bayern Munich realize that they have made a step in the right direction. Arsenal is just the Round of 16 and they clearly state that they are aiming at winning it all again.

Coach Bayern Pep Guardiola: 

“It’s a big result against a very tough team. The only negative was the first 15 minutes. You can’t play well if you don’t have the ball, and that’s what happened in the first 15 minutes. We gave the ball away far too quickly against a very good team.

After Özil missed the penalty we had much more control over the match. And obviously it wasn’t easy for Arsenal with ten men. We showed great patience and the rest was very good. We have a very good chance of making the quarter-finals. And we’ll make it with the help of our fans.“

Captain Philipp Lahm:

“Coming to Arsenal is a big ask as we all saw today, especially in the early stages. We can be pleased with the result. We had the game under control after 20 minutes, we were dominant and we started creating chances. I think we have to accept the criticism that we didn’t always play the final ball. Arsenal kept it very tight especially in the middle. We’re in a very good position for the return, but last year should be a warning to us all.

All of us who were part of it know how quickly it can change. We have to concentrate at home and go for it from the start. As we saw today, if you slacken off even a little bit, if you don’t feel like building from the back, it’ll always be tough against a very aggressive and technically strong team. We have to be prepared for another fight.“

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