Arsenal must start strongly against Bayern, says Arteta

The midfielder believes resisting the German giants’ attacking threat during the opening stages is vital, while he says the shock FA Cup exit will serve as motivation

Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta has called on his team-mates to start strongly against Bayern Munich when the two sides face off in the Champions League on Tuesday.

The runaway Bundesliga leaders are favourites to progress in the last-16 tie, but Arteta believes that if Arsenal can get off to a good start then they are more than able to triumph over both legs.

“The last few big games we missed the first 20-25 minutes and then gave the opposition probably too much respect,” Arteta told reporters.

“We want to face a different scenario with Bayern and get into the game to show that we want to win it.

“The table of the Premier League of first and second 45 minutes is very different. That shows our qualities are very good, because when teams tire a little bit we are able to [score], but also that we are not ready from the off to do what we want right from the start.”

Arsenal go into the clash on the back of a shock FA Cup fifth round loss to lower-league Blackburn, which has thrown fresh doubt over Arsene Wenger’s handling of club affairs as a Champions League exit will mark the end of the side’s quest for silverware for an eighth season in a row.

But, Arteta insists that the team will play with renewed vigour in such a high-profile clash following the shock defeat on Saturday.

“It gives you extra motivation because you are facing top players and a top club and you want to show how good you are against them,” he said.

“We have a great test now and we want to face that with the maximum desire and a positivity around the squad and go out there and win it.”

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