Arsenal put a positive spin on Bayern Munich euro draw
But German stars admit that a tie against the Gunners is not what they were hoping for
ARSENAL are doing their best to sound bullish after drawing Bayern Munich in the last 16 of the Champions League. The reigning European champions will meet the Gunners over two legs in the spring with memories still fresh in Arsenal's mind of the drubbing they received at the Emirates nearly 12 months ago. A 3-1 victory for the German giants caused some complacency on their part when they hosted Arsenal a fortnight later and the English club became the first team in 2013 to defeat Bayern.
But the 2-0 victory in the Allianz Arena still wasn't enough for Arsenal as they slid out of the competition and Bayern went on to win their fifth Champions League crown.
This season the German side, now managed by Pep Guardiola, have looked in ominous form once again, opening up a seven point lead at the head of the Bundesliga and finishing top of their Champions League pool with something to spare. They could even afford a rare home defeat to Manchester City in their final pool game such was their dominance over their rivals.
Now Arsenal must try and win in Munich once more, while also getting a result at the Emirates. That is no easy task, but the players - as sportsmen are wont to do - are taking the positives from the draw. "We managed to get a good result away at Bayern last season, so that brings back good memories," said Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arsenal's winger who hopes to have recovered from a knee injury by the time the Gunners host Bayern in the first leg on 19 February.
Teammate Carl Jenkinson also adopted an upbeat tone, telling Talksport: "I'm excited about it, personally. If you want to be the best, you've got to beat them and Bayern are definitely one of the best teams. It will be a great game for the neutral, as well."
Asked if he really believed Arsenal could beat Bayern and progress to the last eight of the tournament, Jenkinson replied: "We know we can beat them. We proved it last season... the boys are positive about the draw."
Meanwhile Bayern's finest have been flattering Arsenal, with Jerome Boateng declaring: "They will be highly motivated after we knocked them out last season and we are expecting two very intense games."
Similarly, Bayern captain Philipp Lahm told reporters that the draw hadn't done his side any favours. "They are the strongest team that we could have drawn, and it's certainly not what we were hoping for," he said. "Arsenal have made some quality new signings and will prove a real challenge."
Manchester City also face a daunting opponent in the last 16, having been drawn to Barcelona, while Manchester United and Chelsea should both progress to the last eight after being paired with Olympiacos and Galatasaray respectively. ·