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Reaction to Arsenal v Bayern

‘A step in the right direction’

The first 45 minutes at the Emirates Stadium were close and hard-fought, but once the game was done Bayern posted a 2–0 victory away to Arsenal and planted one foot firmly in the Champions League quarter-finals. “It’s a big result against a very tough team,” Pep Guardiola said with relief afterwards. “It was a step in the right direction but we’re by no means through yet,” warned man of the match Toni Kroos. Calling on last season’s experience, Philipp Lahm commented: “We have to be prepared for another fight.”

Reaction to Arsenal v 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.“

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.“

Toni Kroos: “We rode our luck in the first 15 minutes, especially with the penalty. Obviously, it would have been a great deal harder if it had gone in. We’re well aware it’s not over by a long chalk, as we saw last year. It was a step in the right direction but we’re by no means through yet.“

Arsene Wenger (Arsenal coach): “We’re obviously very disappointed because we’ve lost a big game. We had three big chances. The sending off totally changed the course of the match. Until then it was a very high quality game. We posed no attacking threat in the second half because we were exhausted and Bayern are a very good team. At the end of the day all I feel is frustration. But it’s not over yet. We’ll fight hard right to the end. We can keep on hoping.“

Per Mertesacker (Arsenal): “The second half was a thankless task against an all-powerful Bayern team. It was very different when we had 11 men. We had to take the lead, but we have to accept it as it is. We threw ourselves into it and had some very good moments in the first quarter of an hour, but that’s simply not enough.“