Gunning for a miracle in Munich
Arsenal must stage one of the most unlikely Champions League comebacks if they are to advance at the expense of hosts Bayern Munich in their round of 16 second leg clash on Wednesday.Updated: Mar 13, 2013 02:04 IST
Arsenal must stage one of the most unlikely Champions League comebacks if they are to advance at the expense of hosts Bayern Munich in their round of 16 second leg clash on Wednesday.
Bayern Munich silenced the Gunners 3-1 in London last month to put themselves in the driving seat for a spot in the quarterfinals for the third time in the last four seasons.
Only twice in the Champions League has a team lost the home leg of a knockout round match and survived by winning the away leg. Ajax Amsterdam did it in 1995-96 against Panathinaikos and Inter Milan did it in the last 16 in 2010-11 -- coincidentally against Bayern.
The Germans won 1-0 in Milan in the first leg, before losing 3-2 at home and going out on the away goals rule.Arsenal though have two goals to make up and must overcome the psychological disadvantage of having been completely outplayed by Bayern in north London — something coach Arsene Wenger was at pains to point out before the squad left for Germany.
"We're chasing the game in a very difficult environment against a team that has no doubts at all," he said.
"Our mentality is to go there, not resigned, but ambitious and provoke things. We will go to Munich and give ourselves a chance to qualify with everybody believing we can do it."
Arsenal are likely to be without defender Bacary Sagna who is nursing a leg injury though Germans Per Mertesacker and former Bayern player Lukas Podolski would love nothing more than a victory back in their homeland.
"We have to behave on the football pitch like a team who wants to do it. How will we go into the game tactically? I haven't decided yet. It will be with an ambitious plan," Wenger added.
Bayern, who have reached the final twice in the last three seasons, will be without injured winger Franck Ribery, enjoying his best season yet at Bayern. He will join suspended defender Jerome Boateng and midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger on the sidelines.
First Published: Mar 13, 2013 00:44 IST