Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta has spoken about the game plan heading into tonight’s Champions League encounter between Arsenal and Bayern Munich (via Arsenal.com). The Spaniard revealed that Arsenal will be looking to apply pressure to Bayern inside their half, reminiscent of what they did two seasons ago.
Arsenal last met the German giants in the Round of 16 stage during the 2013-14 season, and the Gunners had started the home leg strongly, dominating the ball and winning a penalty early in the game. However, Mesut Özil missed the conversion and the game went downhill from there. We eventually lost 2-0 and were eliminated from the competition despite a much better showing away at the Allianz Arena.
Speaking to Arsenal Player, Arteta said, “I think it was a great start [two seasons ago]. I remember Yaya Sanogo played up front and he caused them big problems because they played with a high line and every time we were managing to play the ball behind them and they suffered.
“After missing the penalty and getting Wojciech Szczesny sent off it was a very different story. You need a big discipline [to beat Bayern].
“The way they share the space, the way they play, they make it really difficult for you because they really stretch you. They want to play in your half and every time you win the ball back, they’re at your feet and make it hard to come out.
“We need to do the opposite – we need to play in their half, press them and make them make mistakes. From there, we have players up front that can cause them damage.”
The Gunners will be looking to start at a high tempo tonight, and score as early as possible. While we lack the physical presence of a Sanogo up front, the pace of Theo Walcott and Alexis Sanchez allows us opportunities to stretch the opposition defence. Bayern are also not a team that like to defend deep and this will work in our favour, giving the forwards space to run behind the defence. Hopefully, we can win against Munich on the third time of asking.