Arsenal will win if we let them have the ball, warns Guardiola

The former Barcelona coach has urged his side not to take the Gunners lightly despite their 2-0 lead from the first leg at the Emirates

Pep Guardiola has insisted Bayern Munich must go in search of victory again when they face Arsenal in the second leg of their Champions League round-of-16 tie on Tuesday.

The Bundesliga leaders enter the game as huge favourites after a 2-0 win in London three weeks ago, but the former Barcelona coach is taking nothing for granted and knows Arsenal have players who can hurt his side.

After a 3-1 first-leg win at Arsenal in the same round of the competition last season, Arsene Wenger’s men came within a whisker of springing a shock, triumphing 2-0 at the Allianz Arena – only to go out on away goals.

“If we let Arsenal keep the ball, we will have a lot of problems,” Guardiola told reporters.

“They have a lot of quality, every single player has unbelievable technical skills with the ball. They have players like [Santi] Cazorla, [Mesut] Ozil, [Tomas] Rosicky and [Mikel] Arteta – it is no problem for them to keep the ball in their lines.

“So the only way to avoid that is to keep the ball for ourselves – and obviously we have to be aggressive. What I noticed about my team was that we are at our best when we just think about attacking.

“If we start to speculate and think about what we may have done wrong in London, then they have a good chance to win and we won’t go through to the quarter-final.

“I know Arsenal very well, I played two times against them with Barcelona. I know their coach. If we have the ball, we will be in the next round. If Arsenal have the ball, they will be in the quarter-final.”

Tuesday’s encounter at the Allianz Arena is scheduled to kick off at 20:45CET.

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