Arsène Wenger

Not over for Arsenal yet – but away goals rule must change

Arsene Wenger

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Last year Arsenal were 3-1 down to Bayern Munich in the last 16 of the Champions League after the first leg at the Emirates and those away goals proved fatal for us.

We are facing a similar two-goal deficit this year, but the tie with Bayern Munich is still not over.

Six teams won away from home over the course of this year's last-16 first legs and I think there is a real problem with the away goals rule.

You are encouraged to attack away, and defend at home. I have already asked the UEFA about it. Originally, the rule was implemented to encourage teams to attack at home but today it’s the opposite; the advantage goes to the teams choosing to play defensively at home.

We started the recent match against Bayern on the front foot but once we were reduced to 10 men, we were forced to retreat and try to keep the score goalless. That's why we played more defensively in the second half, because it was 10 against 11.

I see the next game the other way around. We have nothing to lose and we're in a position where we have to score immediately to put them under pressure. We have to attack and we have to believe in our chances. If we score first, it changes things. We have to score before they do.

There are some differences between Jupp Heynckes’ Bayern side last year and Pep Guardiola’s team this season.

Last year, they had both Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery in great shape. I found them very incisive, very penetrating, very capable of destabilising the opposition once they had the ball.

This year, they are more dominating and have been able to increase their ball possession. They are less dangerous. If you look closely at the first game, even with 10 players, our goalkeeper didn’t have a lot of shots to stop.

It’s difficult for me to tell you where the real strength of the Bayern lies, because we had one less player too soon in that opening game. You only really see the true power struggle between two teams during the second half. And there wasn't one.

But still, they remain one of the two or three favourites for this year’s Champions League.

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