I knew Neuer would save Ozil penalty – Ribery

The winger, who did not feature in the 2-0 win at the Emirates Stadium, praised Arsenal for their good start and says he hopes to come back in time for the second leg

Franck Ribery says he knew that Manuel Neuer would save Mesut Ozil’s penalty in Bayern Munich’s 2-0 win over Arsenal on Wednesday.

The Frenchman did not feature at the Emirates Stadium after undergoing surgery on his buttocks earlier this month but watched from the sidelines as the Bavarians swept the Gunners aside thanks to second-half goals from Toni Kroos and Thomas Muller.

Ribery praised the way Arsene Wenger’s men began the Champions League last-16 first leg, but thinks that Neuer’s brilliance between the sticks ensured that the goalkeeper’s former Schalke team-mate could not give the hosts an advantage.

“Arsenal played well and the first 10 minutes were not easy for us,” he told Sky.

“I said ahead of the penalty that Neuer would save it. I trusted Neuer and he did it. He is the best goalkeeper around.”

The France international, 30, is hoping he can return to Pep Guardiola’s squad for the second leg on March 11 but suspects he will not be fit in time for the international break at the beginning of next month.

“I am fine and I started running on the pitch again two days ago,” Ribery added. “Now I have to get my fitness back.

“The second leg against Arsenal is a realistic comeback date, at the moment I have a good feeling about it. The friendly for France against Netherlands is probably too early.”

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