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Lahm interviewed

‘Arsenal need a result, but we’re ready for them’

Bayern have enjoyed their trips to London in recent years. On Tuesday evening, Germany’s record champions face Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium for the third time in the last four years. On the journey to the English capital, discussed the forthcoming match, the opposition and fond memories of London with Philipp Lahm.

Interview: Philipp Lahm Philipp, FC Bayern are travelling to London again. That brings back memories...
Philipp Lahm:
Of course, especially of the Champions League triumph in 2013. But I’m also thinking of several good performances against Arsenal in recent years. I think we have a lot of positive associations with London, but we can’t sit back and rely on that for Tuesday.

Arsenal lost their first two group stage fixtures, but are currently second in the Premier League. How would you assess the Gunners?
They’re a good team with good individuals, and they’re showing their true colours in the league. But they’re under severe pressure in the Champions League. They need a result against us, but we’re prepared for that.

Are Arsenal potentially even more dangerous because the pressure’s on?
Arsenal are always dangerous because they have real quality and very good, dynamic players in their ranks. And like us, they like to have the ball.

What does that mean for your game plan?
We would certainly hurt them if we can control possession, because they wouldn’t be able to play to their strengths. But we have to be looking at ourselves, and play our football the way we like it: with possession, focus, aggression and solid defending. It’s hard for all our opponents when we do that.

Arsenal’s Mesut Özil and Per Mertesacker are well known to you from your days in the Germany team. Have you been in touch with them?
Not yet. But I’m looking forward to facing my former team-mates because we went through a lot together, including the absolute highlight of winning the World Cup in 2014. But that counts for nothing out on the pitch. Wherever we go, we aim to win – an that includes Tuesday.