The Champions League is upon us again, and whether it is Bayern Munich or Barcelona, Arsenal has a tendency to falter at this stage of the knockout tournament and the omens leading into these next rounds are not good.
Bayern have knocked the Gunners out of the Champions League three times in the past four seasons, with the Bavarians going on to win the trophy in 2012-13 as part of a treble.
Bayern took a while to get going is one, but once Thiago started to orchestrate their attacks in the second period, Arsenal were unable to live with their hosts. "You can't just project it on one player". On Feb. 4, they fell, 3-1, at Chelsea.
If a European night at Bayern's Allianz Arena was the ideal stage for Ozil to make the right impression, then the Germany playmaker fluffed his lines.
Carlo Ancelotti's Bayern have ground out Bundesliga wins in recent weeks and are seven points clear in Germany's top flight, but this is their biggest test this season. On Jan. 31, the Gunners lost, 2-1, at home to Watford. They played very well and we dropped our level.
There are players like Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Aaron Ramsey and now Santi Cazorla who have all experienced long term injuries, and now have recovered and just are falling short, or getting injured again, it is time for Arsenal to bite the bullet in this regard.
Arsenal has a challenge ahead of them if they want to win the Champions League.
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Arsenal now look set to exit the Champions League at the last-16 stage for the seventh year running, with Ferdinand saying Wenger should even rest his first-teamers for the second leg. We have had a lot of experiences against them in the competition. The 67-year-old Wenger has won six FA Cups with Arsenal to go with the three EPL titles, but a European title has eluded him.
"We know from the past that the first game is very important, so we need to take a good result back to London".
"It'll be a step up". A game at Stamford Bridge is essentially a guaranteed L for the table, and this stubbornness has seen itself transfer into Champions League fixtures.
Defeat to Arsenal would be a black mark against Ancelotti, but chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is backing Bayern. He went out on a high.
The Gunners look like they might have a slightly better chance this time around with Frank Ribery and Xabi Alonso both doubtful, and a few of Bayern's stars are now the wrong side of 30.
Alexis Sanchez equalised for the visitors, scoring on the rebound after Manuel Neuer saved his 30th-minute penalty, but that seems of little outcome now before the second leg in London on March 7.