Clean sheet vital against Bayern, says Wenger

The Gunners boss has demanded a strong defensive display from his side in Tuesday evening’s Champions League meeting with the Bundesliga leaders and last year’s runners-up

Arsene Wenger has laid down the gauntlet to his Arsenal side, insisting they must not concede in the first leg of their last-16 Champions League clash with Bayern Munich on Tuesday evening.

“It is vital to keep a clean sheet,” the Frenchman told reporters on Monday morning. “Nil nil is not a disaster at home, but of course we will try to score goals.”

The Gunners were knocked out of the FA Cup on Saturday after a shock 1-0 defeat at home to Championship side Blackburn, but Wenger is adamant his side have moved on from that disappointment.

“We are fully focused on tomorrow’s game,” he continued. “You cannot compare the FA Cup with the Champions League.

“We must focus on our own quality and we have to put into our heads that we have 180 minutes to qualify. We have a way to play that everyone in the team knows. We must play with a positive mentality.

“Everyone would like to be in our position – in England only two teams have qualified for the Champions League [last 16]. I don’t know why we should not cope with that.

“We know what is important; it’s not what people [say], it’s what we do on the pitch.”

Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta was also on hand to echo his manager’s sentiments, insisting that he and his team-mates are ready for arguably their most important game of the season.

“We are very positive,” he told reporters. “They are a great team, but we are a great team. We are prepared.”

Arteta also spoke about making up for Saturday’s inept performance against Blackburn, before stressing the importance of opening the scoring.

“We have a great chance tomorrow to put that down,” he added. “We want to show we are ready to win this game.

“If you score first, you have a great chance of winning these big games.”

The Spaniard concluded by paying tribute to team-mate Jack Wilshere, stating: “He has been tremendous and has shown his character. He is a big winner.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.