Arteta urges Arsenal to seize Champions League chance at Bayern


Mikel Arteta has urged Arsenal to shake off a blow to their Premier League title challenge and seize the chance to reach the Champions League semi-finals for the first time in 15 years on Wednesday.

The Gunners travel to face Bayern Munich with the quarter-final tie finely poised at 2-2 after the first leg in London last week.

Since then, Arsenal tasted defeat in the Premier League for the first time in 2024 as Aston Villa won 2-0 at the Emirates to leave Arteta’s men trailing Manchester City by two points with six games to go.

However, the Spaniard said his players could not wallow in that disappointment and waste the hard work put in to reach this stage in their first Champions League campaign for seven years.

Arteta says Arsenal may need perfect run-in to win Premier League

“A performance that puts us in the Champions League semi-final,” said Arteta when asked what reaction he wants from his side.

“The prep has been to achieve that. We have earned it for 10 months and everything we did last season. Tomorrow, we have an unbelievable opportunity to make it happen.

“If we make it happen tomorrow it will be a really high emotional state. Something as a club we haven’t achieved for the last 15 years and that’s the opportunity.

“Most of our players have not experienced this, they are super-motivated and confident.”

Arsenal had been flying since the turn of the year, taking 31 from a possible 33 points in the Premier League by scoring 35 goals in 11 games.

However, they have stumbled over the past week as an out-of-sorts Bayern, who have been deposed as German champions for the first time in 12 years, exposed chinks in their armour before Villa’s shock victory.

Guardiola expects Premier League title race to go to the wire.

And there are fitness concerns over two of Arsenal’s best players ahead of the second leg as Bukayo Saka and captain Martin Odegaard picked up knocks towards the end of the Villa game.

“Hopefully (they will be available),” added Arteta.

“Obviously we had only less than 48 hours to recover for the game and we’ve done very little training. So, we’ll assess them tomorrow and see how they are.”

Leandro Trossard came off the bench to score Arsenal’s late equaliser in the first leg and does not believe the English side’s lack of experience at this stage of the competition compared to Bayern will cost his side.

“I think everyone is ready,” said the Belgian. “It is a big chance for us on the biggest stage, we all want to show what we are capable of.”



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