Created on 16-02-2014 at 18:55 PM
Bayern’s Champions League Round of 16 opponents Arsenal have posted a confidence-boosting win ahead of the European first leg in London on Wednesday. The Gunners beat Liverpool 2–1 in the last sixteen of the English FA Cup at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday in a no-holds-barred encounter.
Coach Arsene Wenger rested a handful of key players prior to the showdown with the treble winners. Olivier Giroud, Jack Wilshere and first-choice keeper Wojciech Szczesny all started on the bench, with 21-year-old French shooting star Yaya Sanogo leading the forward line. Germany international trio Mesut Özil, Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski remained in the starting line-up.
“We want to put a few things straight,” declared Wenger in the build-up to the match, as the Gunners were still smarting from last week’s 5–1 defeat to the Reds in the Premier League. In Sunday’s match in front of a sell-out crowd Arsenal continued to look vulnerable in defence but also full of options in attack.
Podolski on target
England winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain opened the scoring with the home side’s first chance after 16 minutes as Arsenal controlled the game in the first half, with Liverpool sporadically threatening on the break. Uruguay striker Luis Suarez caused Mertesacker and Co the most problems.
The game warmed up after half-time with plenty of penalty box action bringing the crowd to its feet. Former FCB man Podolski made it two in the 47th minute but Liverpool regrouped and Steven Gerrard pulled one back from the penalty spot on the hour. The Gunners dug deep and protected the slender lead to the end, boosting their confidence ahead of the Munich clash. Coach Wenger kicked off the mind games after the final whistle: “I don’t think Bayern will have forgotten how they wobbled towards the end against us last year.“
Arsenal line-up versus Liverpool: Fabianski - Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal - Flamini, Arteta - Oxlade-Chamberlain (Gibbs 76), Özil, Podolski (Cazorla 69) - Sanogo (Giroud 88)
Subs: Sagna, Wilshere, Viviano, Gnabry