'It could've been easier than Arsenal' – Rummenigge

The Bavarians edged past the Gunners in the knockout stages last campaign and the Allianz Arena boss is worried about the threat the English side could pose

Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has admitted he was hoping for “easier” Champions League last-16 opponents than Arsenal.

The Bavarians drew 3-3 on aggregate with the Gunners last season at the same stage en route to winning the European title, edging through on away goals, but Arsene Wenger’s side have looked a better outfit in 2013-14.

Pep Guardiola will be hoping he can imitate Jupp Heynckes’ navigation of the round of 16 at the north London club’s expense, but Rummenigge is under no illusions as to the quality of Arsenal.

“There were more convenient and easier opponents in that pot,” the former West Germany star told reporters after Monday’s draw in Nyon. “I’d rather have played Zenit than Arsenal.

“But we are not wishing against the draw either. We know we will meet an opponent that deserves lots of respect. We have to perform well twice.

“With their three Germans [Per Mertesacker, Mesut Ozil and Lukas Podolski] in tow, they are seeing more stability and are experiencing a good season.”

Bayern are currently preparing to play in the Club World Cup, with a semi-final against Guangzhou Evergrande on Tuesday.

Champions League draw Q n A with Carlo Garganese & Kris Voakes!

The round of 16 draw threw up some plum ties in the form of Man City v Barcelona and Arsenal v Bayern Munich. How did your team fare? Come and join the discussion below

Leave your questions for Carlo and Kris in the comments box below – no login required! We’ll try to answer as many of your queries as possible.
 

Arsenal and Manchester City the big losers in Champions League draw

The Citizens were paired with Barcelona in the round of 16 and Arsene Wenger’s men face Bayern Munich, but both clubs will feel the tough ties were avoidable

COMMENT
By Kris Voakes | International Football Correspondent

There are major losers in most Champions League draws, but not always do they come from the same part of the world. And while one of them sit top of the Premier League this morning and the other can boast a 6-3 weekend win over the same side, both Arsenal and Manchester City will be thinking about what might have been after the last-16 pairings were unveiled in Nyon on Monday.

Manuel Pellegrini will not be convinced that Barcelona respresent the toughest draw his team could have been handed, but the Manchester City boss will still have a huge job on his hands to ensure that they’re back in Nyon for the quarter-final draw in March.

The Catalan giants are not the frightening proposition they were three seasons ago, with their suspect defence being highlighted widely as the way in for opponents looking for an opening, but they remain a tough prospect for a City side playing in the knockout stages of the Champions League for the first time ever.

ROUND OF 16 DRAW
Manchester City
Olympiakos
Milan
Bayer Leverkusen
Galatasaray
Schalke
Zenit
Arsenal

v
v
v
v
v
v
v
v
Barcelona
Manchester United
Atletico
PSG
Chelsea
Real Madrid
Dortmund
Bayern

Having come within one goal of toppling Bayern Munich to top Group D, the Citizens may be left kicking themselves for their inability to ensure an easier path. The visit of Lionel Messi, Neymar et al will represent the Etihad Stadium’s greatest ever occasion to date, but will also be the biggest test of what this City side is capable of.

Arsenal, meanwhile, got the toughest draw of the lot, with Bayern set to visit the Emirates Stadium just as they did in 2012-13.

Arsene Wenger will tell his side that last season’s second-leg win in Munich proves that they have the measure of the European champions. He’ll also point to FC Hollywood’s loss to Manchester City last week as further evidence that Pep Guardiola’s men can be overturned. But in reality, he would have rather seen any other name come out alongside that of the Gunners.

Like City, the Premier League leaders could have won their group. In fact, they should have won it. Group F may well have been this season’s ‘Group of Death’, but having got themselves into a great position ahead of matchday six, they have ultimately paid the price for not finishing the job off in Naples.

Pep’s Bayern look more likely than any side ever has to become the Champions League’s first back-to-back winners. Two meaningless defeats to City and Arsenal, plus a Superpokal loss to Borussia Dortmund, represent their only defeats of 2013. And given the way they are playing under the former Barca boss, there might not be too many more losses on the cards in 2014.

Arsenal’s 6-3 loss at the Etihad on Saturday gave clarity to the argument that Wenger’s side can be overcome by a fast, penetrative opponent who put the emphasis on the Gunners’ defensive third, and Bayern will look to do exactly the same come February.

If only they, like City, had taken the chance they had and topped their group, they might be relishing what lies ahead, instead of looking fearful.

Follow Kris Voakes on

Champions League draw: Barcelona take on Manchester City as Arsenal face Bayern Munich again

Elsewhere there’s a reunion for Didier Drogba and Jose Mourinho, Real Madrid take on Schalke and Manchester United draw Olympiakos at the round of 16 stage

Manchester City against Barcelona is the pick of the ties to emerge from Monday’s Champions League Round of 16 draw in Nyon.

The Spanish champions will face Manuel Pellegrini’s free-scoring side after being drawn first out of the pot in the proceedings. Jose Mourinho faces another reunion with former striker Didier Drogba after his Chelsea side were drawn against Galatasaray, who edged out Juventus on matchday six of the group phase.

Arsenal will face Bayern Munich, meanwhile, in a repeat of their encounter from last season, while fellow Bundesliga outfit Schalke face the daunting task of nine-time champions Real Madrid.

Elsewhere, Manchester United will face Greek champions Olympiakos, while Paris Saint-Germain take on Bundesliga high-flyers Bayer Leverkusen.

AC Milan’s reward for edging into the last 16 is Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid. Finally, Borussia Dortmund – beaten finalists last season – face Russian giants Zenit St Petersburg.

The sides who finished as group runners-up will host the first leg encounters on the February 18/19 and 25/26, while the second legs take place on March 11/12 and 18/19.

Manchester City vs  Barcelona
 Olympiakos vs Manchester Utd
AC Milan vs  Atletico Madrid
Bayer Leverkusen vs Paris Saint-Germain
 Galatasaray vs Chelsea
Schalke vs Real Madrid
Zenit St Petersburg vs Borussia Dortmund
 Arsenal vs Bayern Munich

The Champions League last 16: Barcelona take on Manchester City as Arsenal face Bayern Munich again

There’s another reunion for Didier Drogba and Jose Mourinho in store while Real Madrid take on Schalke and Manchester United draw Olympiakos

Barcelona against Manchester City is the pick of the games in the Champions League round of 16 for 2013-14.

The Spanish champions will face Manuel Pellegrini’s free-scoring side after being drawn first out of the pot in Monday’s proceedings in Nyon.

Jose Mourinho face another reunion with former striker Didier Drogba after his Chelsea side were drawn against Galatasaray, who edged out Juventus on matchday six of the group phase.

Arsenal will face Bayern Munich, meanwhile, in a repeat of their encounter from last season against the current holders, while fellow Bundesliga outfit Schalke face the daunting task of Real Madrid.

Meanwhile, Manchester United will face Greek champions Olympiakos, while Paris Saint-Germain take on Bundesliga high-flyers Bayer Leverkusen.

AC Milan’s reward for edging into the last 16 behind Barcelona is the chance to take on another Spanish side – Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid.

Finally, Borussia Dortmund – beaten finalists last season – face Russian giants Zenit St Petersburg.

The sides who finished as group runners-up will host the first leg encounters on the February 18/19 and 25/26, while the second legs take place on March 11/12 and 18/19.

Home Team (second leg)
 
Away Team (second leg)
 Barcelona vs  Manchester City
 Manchester United vs Olympiakos
Atletico Madrid vs  AC Milan
 Paris Saint-Germain vs Bayer Leverkusen
 Chelsea vs Galatasaray
 Real Madrid vs Schalke
Borussia Dortmund vs Zenit St Petersburg
 Bayern Munich vs Arsenal