The Gunners kept their Champions League hopes alive with a 2-0 win against a Bayern Munich side who had not yet tasted defeat this season
Francis Coquelin feels Arsenal’s continued pressure after Olivier Giroud’s opener was key to their crucial 2-0 Champions League win over Bayern Munich.
Substitute Giroud broke the deadlock with 13 minutes remaining at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday, before Mesut Ozil scored in injury time to keep Arsenal’s hopes of qualifying from Group F alive.
Coquelin knew Arsenal would face a tough task against Bayern – who headed to London having won all 12 of their previous competitive games this season – but praised his team’s counter-attacking prowess.
“It is always difficult against Bayern but I thought we started well and we created a big chance with Theo in the first half but we didn’t put it in the net,” the Frenchman told reporters after the game.
“The second half was always going to be tough but Olivier scored a great goal and after we felt that we could keep the heat on and after the second it was game over.
“We knew Bayern would have a lot of the ball, but in the recent games against the big teams we have not had as much possession and counter-attacked.
“It worked well again here and everyone defended really well and we didn’t concede any goals, so I am really pleased with the performance.”
The Gunners saved themselves from the grasps of elimination with a battling Champions League win over Bayern and Wenger thinks the victory will boost his players’ spirit
Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal will draw strength from the manner of their rousing 2-0 Champions League win over Bayern Munich.
Having lost their opening Group F matches against Dinamo Zagreb and Olympiacos, defeat to Pep Guardiola’s runaway Bundesliga leaders would have all but ended Arsenal’s hopes of progressing to the knockout stages of Europe’s Premier competition.
But Olivier Giroud capitalised on Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer’s uncharacteristic mistake before Mesut Ozul sealed the points in the dying seconds, with their French boss delighted with his team’s unity.
“Overall we have beaten a very strong team. We kept a clean sheet as well,” Wenger said at the post-match news conference.
“The team focus and dynamic was there. Tonight we showed we needed that.
“It can strengthen our belief and those around us. It is important we have good balance between attacking and defending.”
Wenger hailed Giroud as “a winner” following the striker’s decisive impact three minutes after replacing Walcott, but also reserved praise for Hector Bellerin.
The full-back came through the gruelling assignment of marking the dazzling Douglas Costa to set-up Ozil’s stoppage-time goal and Wenger was impressed with what he saw.
“It was an interesting fight between Costa and Hector,” he added.
“He has that desire to be on top of his opponent.”
The Bavarians’ goalkeeper made a number of fine saves to keep the Gunners at bay but was at fault for Giroud’s opener, and he admitted that he erred in conceding the goal
Manuel Neuer insisted he played well in Bayern Munich’s 2-0 Champions League defeat to Arsenal on Tuesday – although he did admit responsibility for the crucial opening goal.
Neuer produced a string of fine saves to keep Arsenal at bay, the pick of which being a stunning first-half block to keep out a Theo Walcott header, but then blundered horribly as Bayern fell behind.
Germany goalkeeper Neuer opted to try to claim a hopeful Santi Cazorla punt into the box but got nowhere near it, missing his punch completely, allowing Olivier Giroud to bundle the ball home.
Mesut Ozil added a late second, despite Neuer’s best attempts to prevent his close-range effort crossing the line.
Neuer told UEFA.com: “Basically, I played well. But it was my big mistake that led to Arsenal’s first goal.
“I think a draw would have been a more appropriate result.”
Late goals from Olivier Giroud and Mesut Ozil grabbed the Gunners a surprising victory at the Emirates, but the Die Roten coach and captain refused to criticise the performance
Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola and captain Philipp Lahm were left to lament wasted opportunities as their winning run ended with a 2-0 Champions League defeat at Arsenal.
A pulsating first half, where chances were shared between the sides, gave way to a Bayern possession clinic after the interval as Guardiola’s men threatened to grind their Group F opponents into submission.
But they could not turn their dominance into goals and a howling error from goalkeeper Manuel Neuer – who earlier made a remarkable stop from Theo Walcott – handed substitute Olivier Giroud a 77th-minute opener.
Mesut Ozil added a second on the counter-attack as Bayern pushed forward deep into stoppage time, ending a streak of 12 consecutive victories in all competitions.
“We had chances to win but congratulations to Arsenal,” Guardiola told a post-match news conference.
“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.”
Lahm told reporters: “In the decisive moments of the game, we failed to score.
“Arsenal were very dangerous on counter-attacks. They are the strongest opponent in our group.”
The 33-year-old summer signing from Chelsea was in fine form to deny Pep Guardiola’s side, with France forward Giroud admitting the Gunners were “relieved” to get the points
Arsenal forward Olivier Giroud has hailed Petr Cech’s performance as the key factor in the Gunners’ Champions League win over Bayern Munich on Tuesday.
The Czech Republic goalkeeper pulled off a string of fine saves to keep the Bavarians out at the Emirates Stadium, with Giroud and Mesut Ozil goals ensuring Arsene Wenger’s side claimed a crucial three points.
The result still leaves the Gunners three points adrift of Bayern, and second-placed Olympiacos, although ensures the north Londoners remain in with a chance of reaching the last 16, with three group matches remaining.
Giroud told BT Sport: “This goal was a relief for us. We did well until this goal and we defended really well. We knew they would have the ball because they are doing well in possession. If we can see the ball possession they have 70, they dominated that but we showed passion and finally we got a goal and finished the work with Mesut’s goal.
“We needed this win to stay in the Champions League to qualify for the next stage. We knew it would be hard but we have succeeded. We have to thank Petr. He has done a fantastic game we are all pleased tonight. We played a fantastic team and it’s nice for the future. We need to focus on the following games now.”