Lahm: Bayern targeting victory at Arsenal

The Roten captain is full of confidence ahead of their Champions League clash with the north Londoners, having won all of their games in 2013 thus far

Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm has warned Arsenal that his side will not settle for a draw in their Champions League last-16 first leg tie at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday.

The Germany full-back has acknowledged that the Gunners will provide his team with a tough contest and is expecting Arsene Wenger’s side to take a defensive approach to the game.

“Of course we’re looking forward to the match,” he told TZ.

“Arsenal are an absolutely top-class opponent. We are going to travel to London now and lay the groundwork [for the second leg].

“I don’t think Arsenal will play offensively and leave us a lot of room. It will be similar to our recent Bundesliga matches. We’re going there to win.”

Bayern are yet to concede a Bundesliga goal in 2013, and winger Thomas Muller added that his side are full of confidence at the moment.

“Winning to nil makes me particularly happy. Never having to worry about losing a match is a great feeling. It’s a feeling of power!”

Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer is also confident of a favourable result in London after recording a 2-0 triumph over Wolfsburg on Friday.

“It’s good that we won against Wolfsburg,” he added. “That way, we can travel to London with a positive result and a good feeling.”

Bayern can break down any team that resists – Heynckes

Die Roten coach has praised his side after their Bundesliga win and feels the impressive manner of the victory proves just how good his current team are

Bayern Munich boss Jupp Heynckes has let out a war cry of sorts in the wake of his team’s convincing 2-0 win over Wolfsburg, stating that Die Roten are capable of outclassing all comers.

Friday’s result moved the Bavarians 16 points clear of second-placed Dortmund, and the 67-year-old was quick to praise his victorious charges.

“We’ve demonstrated today that we’re in great shape, we have a class team, and we’re capable of breaking down any team that resists,” he told Bayern’s official website.

“The team we played today had their best game of the season.

“These are the games you have to be winning, the ones where it’s not so easy.”

Bayern have now won their last five games since the winter break, never once conceding within that period, and next face Arsenal in the Champions League on Tuesday night.

Bale: Ronaldo more complete footballer than Messi

The Tottenham attacker believes the Portugese is a better all-round player than the Argentine magician, as the race for the Premier League’s most sought-after man hots up

Tottenham forward Gareth Bale says Cristiano Ronaldo is a more “complete footballer” than Barcelona’s Lionel Messi.

The in-form Spurs attacker, who is rumoured to be a transfer target for both Real Madrid and Bayern Munich this summer, has scored 13 Premier League goals so far this season.

Asked the question, “Messi or Ronaldo?” by Life’s a Pitch, Bale revealed his admiration for Los Blancos‘ star.

“For me, personally, I’d say Ronaldo,” the 23-year-old Welshman responded.

“He’s got the whole package. He’s strong, he’s powerful, he’s pacey, can head the ball, strike the ball. Obviously, you can’t say anything bad about Messi, but for the all-round complete footballer, I’d say Cristiano Ronaldo.”

The comments are likely to be taken as a welcome sign by Real Madrid that the Wales international would relish the chance to link up with Ronaldo.

According to reports, Los Merengues are expected to challenge Bayern for his signature at the end of the season in a move thought to potentially be worth around €50 million.

By then, die Roten will be managed by Messi’s former Barcelona coach, Pep Guardiola, who is said to also have a great interest in bringing Bale to the Bavarian outfit.

Javi Martinez: Let's not talk about Guardiola

The Spain midfielder says the excitement over Bayern Munich’s managerial appointment could prove to be an unwelcome distraction for the team

Javi Martinez believes Bayern Munich’s focus should be on this season and not on Pep Guardiola’s arrival in the summer.

The former Barcelona boss was announced as the Bavarians’ new coach in January and will succeed Jupp Heynckes at the end of the campaign.

Since then, a great deal of attention has rested on the surprise appointment, but Martinez has raised concerns that constantly talking about Guardiola could have a detrimental effect on performances.

“Let’s not talk about it much,” the 24-year-old Spaniard was quoted as saying by TZ when asked about the managerial change.

“For a week, when the agreement was made public, we talked about nothing else.

“Against Greuther Furth [a 2-0 win and the first game after the Guardiola appointment was revealed] we were not good. They have made us aware that the rest of the league is still playing.”

Die Roten are top of the Bundesliga, 15 points ahead of Borussia Dortmund, but Martinez was willing to entertain the idea that Guardiola might improve the Bavarian outfit’s style of play once he takes the helm at the club.

“Time will tell,” the former Athletic Bilbao player conceded when asked if his side could match the quality of Barcelona with their new boss. 

“But Bayern are also playing very well. We have very good players, and the majority of the squad is still very young.”

Wenger: Arsenal must respond against Bayern

The Gunners boss calls on his squad to prove their worth in the Champions League last-16 first leg after FA Cup defeat by Blackburn

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has called on his squad to “show some response” in Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Bayern Munich following their shock FA Cup exit.

A second-half strike from Colin Kazim-Richards handed Championship side Blackburn a 1-0 win at the Emirates on Saturday after Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott and Santi Cazorla were rested with the European last-16 first leg in mind.

And Wenger has called on his team to show their worth against the Bundesliga giants after another avenue of possible silverware was closed.

“The Bayern game is an opportunity to show we have character and that we are men who can fight for each other,” he told reporters.

“The season is not over, not for me anyway. We have a massive game on Tuesday and we have to show some response.”

Wenger also stressed that this was Arsenal’s first-ever FA Cup exit to lower-league opposition during his reign, although he did acknowledge ruefully that they had also fallen to League Two side Bradford City in the Capital One Cup earlier in the season.

“But 16 years without losing to ­lower-league sides in the FA Cup, nobody had done that,” he continued.

“It’s disappointing it’s happened twice this season, but I prepared for the games in exactly the same way I had in the ­previous years. I’m very unhappy as well, don’t worry.”