Arsenal F.C. manager Arsene Wenger has praised his side for their performance in the must-win UEFA Champions League game against Bayern Munich on Tuesday.
Second-half goals from Olivier Giroud and Mesut Ozil helped the Gunners defeat the four-time Bundesliga champions at the Emirates Stadium.
But Wenger believes the club’s Champions League fate remains in the balance, and rightly so, as the Gunners currently sit at the bottom of Group F after opening their 2015/16 European account with consecutive defeats to Dinamo Zagreb and Olympiakos.
“We had an absolute necessity to win the game and we did it in an intense and disciplined way,” Wenger said. “It was a top-level game between two top-level teams. Bayern had more possession than us but we decided to make it tight in our final third and catch them on the break.
“The last part of the game where we went longer and used long balls we could play more in their half and they struggled. I think they dropped a bit physically as well but overall I think we have beaten a very strong team and kept a good level focus from the first to the last minute and kept a clean sheet as well.”
When asked where Arsenal stand in Group F after Tuesday’s result, Wenger added: “I don’t know. We need a result at Bayern. Now let’s focus on Everton [in the Premier League on Saturday].”
And finally, Wenger was questioned as to whether he starting David Ospina over Petr Cech in the club’s first two UCL games of the season.
The Frenchman replied: “I expected this question in the press conference. I have already spoken about that.
“[Cech] was important. I think he kept us in the game and you can say the same for Neuer. We had two top, top, top world-class keepers on the pitch today and that of course was vital on both sides.”
Guardiola rues missed chances
On the other side of the touchline, Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola was left bemoaning his side’s wasted opportunities following the German champions’ defeat at Arsenal.
The visitors had several wonderful chances to score before a goalkeeping howler from Germany No. 1 Manuel Neuer gifted Olivier Giroud with his first UCL goal of the season.
“We had chances to win but congratulations to Arsenal,” Guardiola said. “In the Champions League you need to be perfect in every aspect. There were some areas where we weren’t today. We played to control the game and create chances. I am proud of how we played.
“We played with huge personality. We came here to close our qualification and we could not do that so we now have to go to the next game.”
Bayern are priced at 7/2 to win the Champions League title this season.