Bayern, Arsenal desperate to lift gloom with European glory

BERLIN (Reuters) – Bayern Munich and Arsenal meet in their big-name Champions League round of 16 first leg on Wednesday, both hoping European success will help lift mid-season gloom on their domestic fronts.

Bayern are on track for a record-extending fifth consecutive title with a seven-point lead thanks to their 2-0 win over Ingolstadt on Saturday.

But that result does not tell the whole story, with the German champions looking lacklustre for most of the match before snatching two goals in the final minutes.

The Bavarians have been more a model of efficiency under coach Carlo Ancelotti than the high-scoring, high-speed train of past seasons under predecessor Pep Guardiola.

With fans grumbling about the lack of spark, Ancelotti said Saturday’s win gave them the boost needed to take on Arsenal.

“This result gives us a lot of confidence for Wednesday,” Ancelotti said. “We showed great character and that is very important.”

Ancelotti could be without winger Franck Ribery, with the Frenchman working towards a comeback from a thigh muscle injury sustained two weeks ago.

“It will be difficult but we will have to see. We will, however, take no risk with this,” said the coach.

Bayern have posted a record 15 straight home wins in the competition, including three this season. Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal have lost in the last 16 for six years in a row, including to Bayern in 2013 and 2014.

The London side ended a two-game losing run with a 2-0 league win over Hull on Saturday but that did little to lift the mood of their fans with Wenger non-committal about his future.

Asked about his future, the coach said: “I focus on what is important, winning football games and getting the team to perform. The rest, I cannot influence.”

Chilean Alexis Sanchez scored both goals against Hull but his own future is equally unclear and Wenger knows that a good result in Munich will go a long way in pushing these issues into the background.

“We have had bad experiences against them (Bayern),” said Wenger of their past eliminations, including one back in 2005. “But I feel that this is a good opportunity.”

“We have won there before and we play the first game away from home, so it is important we protect the second game because I feel that to have a chance to qualify in the second leg, that will be very important.”


Related Posts
Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) leaves the winners podium as Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain (R) sprays champagne in celebration after winning the Russian F1 Grand Prix in Sochi, Russia, October 11, 2015. REUTERS/Grigory Dukor
Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton has dismissed as wide of the mark reports that he sprayed Russian President Vladimir Putin with the winner's champagne after Sunday's grand prix in ...
Chiyangwa’s reign at ZIFA hanging on the balance as vultures circle
HARARE - Hardly a day after government had rejected the bid to dissolve Zifa and replace it with a new local football governing body — a new group led by ...
ZURICH, SWITZERLAND - JULY 20: Comedian Simon Brodkin (not pictured) throws cash at FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter during a press conference at the Extraordinary FIFA Executive Committee Meeting at the FIFA headquarters on July 20, 2015 in Zurich, Switzerland. (Photo by Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images)
ZURICH - Swiss prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation into Sepp Blatter, the head of world soccer body FIFA, on suspicion of criminal mismanagement and misappropriation, the Swiss attorney general's ...
Bonding crucial ahead of World Cup — Whatmore
The Zimbabwe national cricket team leaves for the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup in Australia and New Zealand next Wednesday with head coach Dav Whatmore emphasising on team work ...
Chelsea will win the league, Mourinho promises
LONDON (Reuters) - Chelsea will win the Premier League this season with the same players who are being criticised for going out of the Champions League to Paris St Germain, ...
Blatter defies calls to quit as FIFA scandal widens
ZURICH (Reuters) - FIFA President Sepp Blatter rejected an emotional plea to resign from one of the world's soccer greats on Thursday as the corruption scandal engulfing the game's governing ...
Man Utd lose 3-1 to Watford, third defeat in eight days
LONDON (Reuters) - Manchester United suffered their third defeat in eight days as Watford handed Jose Mourinho his worst run as a manager in a decade. Goals from Etienne Capoue, Juan ...
Rosberg takes Monaco hat-trick after Mercedes gaffe
MONACO (Reuters) - Germany's Nico Rosberg celebrated a surprise hat-trick of Monaco Grand Prix victories on Sunday after Mercedes blew championship-leading team mate Lewis Hamilton's chances with a needless pitstop. The ...
Pedro and Willian out of Arsenal clash, confirms Mourinho
LONDON - Chelsea will be without Pedro and Willian in Saturday's Premier League clash with Arsenal, manager Jose Mourinho has said. Mourinho's team have made a stuttering start to their Premier ...
Bafana one step closer to Russia with Senegal win
Cape Town - South Africa took full advantage of a slice of good fortune to beat Senegal 2-1 in a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier at the Peter Mokaba Stadium ...
I never sprayed Putin, says Hamilton
Chiyangwa’s reign at ZIFA hanging on the balance
Swiss investigate Blatter for criminal mismanagement of FIFA
Bonding crucial ahead of World Cup — Whatmore
Chelsea will win the league, Mourinho promises
Blatter defies calls to quit as FIFA scandal
Man Utd lose 3-1 to Watford, third defeat
Rosberg takes Monaco hat-trick after Mercedes gaffe
Pedro and Willian out of Arsenal clash, confirms
Bafana one step closer to Russia with Senegal

Arts & Entertainment

Arts & Entertainment

Where To Stream Drake’s ‘More Life’: Playlist Will Be Available On Spotify And Amazon

17th March 2017 Staff Reporter 0

After a long wait, Drake’s next project, “More Life,” is finally releasing on Saturday. Originally believed to be an Apple Music exclusive, it’s now looking like the playlist will also be available on other streaming […]