Arjen Robben has taken a sly dig at Bayern Munich’s Champions League last 16 opponents Arsenal, when telling ESPN that the two sides have very different ambitions in the competition.
Despite the Gunners finishing top of their group, there appeared an air of inevitability that they would be drawn against the German champions after Carlo Ancelotti’s team had finished second behind Atletico Madrid in group D.
– Monday: Pull out Bayern in the UCL.
– Tuesday: Lose to Everton.
Not the best start to the week. 🙄 pic.twitter.com/flbJ92d0rG
— SPORF (@Sporf) 13. prosinca 2016.
Having met six times in the last three seasons, the pair were matched against one another once again in last Monday’s draw, with the first leg set to be played at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday 15th February next year.
And the mind games already appear to have started, as Arjen Robben couldn’t resist taking a swipe at the Gunners when asked for his thoughts on the tie, although he did admit that Bayern would face a much stronger Arsenal team compared to previous years.
He told ESPN: “For them, the pressure is to make it to the quarter-final for the first time in many years.
“Our target is always the final. But this draw doesn’t make it easy [for either team.]
“We’ve played them a few times over the last few years and always won. We always got through to the next round – but maybe this one will be the toughest one so far.
“We have happy memories [from past meetings] but happy memories don’t take you to the next round. They are a very strong team. Even stronger than last year. They’re doing very well in the Premier League.”
History suggests it will be a tall order for Arsene Wenger’s team to overcome the Bavarians, as they have been knocked out of the last 16 twice in the last three years by Bayern and most recently, suffered a 5-1 hammering in Germany during the groupstages of last season’s competition.