UEFA Champions League | Arsenal in search of miracle

Liverpool [Photo credit: mirror.co.uk]

It seems Arsenal’s season is over. In recent past, it took till the end of match to come to that conclusion.

With a 1-5 deficit from the first leg and the sickening 1-3 loss to Liverpool last weekend, Arsene Wenger just needs a reaction from his players as they face Bayern Munich in the second leg on Tuesday.

Wenger is under all pressure, so, even if they lose out on aggregate, he needs his players to play with pride and the matter of a small miracle.

But in opposing manager, Carlo Ancelotti, Wenger has a manager who for years has experienced miraculous retrievals.

In 2004, Deportivo La Coruna overturned a 4-1 first leg deficit to AC Milan to triumph 4-0 in the second and qualify 5-4 on aggregate.

In 2005, his side let a 3-0 first half lead slip as Liverpool came roaring back to win the trophy on penalties.

On current form, Bayern are expected to beat the Gunners again in London with Wenger’s team having lost three of their last five encounters, scoring seven and conceding 11, while Bayern have won five out of five, scoring 20 and conceding just two goals.

Wenger left Alexis Sanchez on the bench for 45 minutes against Liverpool and paid the price but he has stated that the Chilean would start on Tuesday.

Suspended Bayern captain, Philip Lahm believes that they just have to weather the storm in the early minutes of Tuesday’s encounter.

“We need to be very focused during the game, particularly in the first quarter of an hour, and say to Arsenal you can do what you want, but Bayern are going through,” he said.

Arsenal captain, Per Mertesacker, believes the players have let their manager down, especially in the shoddy second half performance two weeks ago at the Allianz Arena.

“I think it’s up to us to show a different face. That is really something we are going to demand because we literally blew it away in the second half [in Munich]. So it’s really down to us now to make our fans proud of ourselves again. That is really something that we need the emphasis on.”

“I expect a lot from our players performance-wise, that is what we demand. We wanted to be in the Champions League, we are still in there so let’s go for it.

“We saw on a lot of occasions that we were not ready for the fight, and that’s what I want to see tomorrow night – that we are up for the fight.” That fight back would be miraculous if it happens because in Arsene Wenger’s 20th season as the manager of the Gunners, there is the startling reality that Arsenal could miss out on next season’s Champions League.

But a route back into the tournament would be to win it, but can they? The match kicks off at 8:45pm.


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