Champions League: Arsenal Only Dominated for Eight Minutes of the Entire Tie, According to Bayern Manager Guardiola
By Deepak Vikraman | March 12, 2014 3:47 PM EST
While Arsene Wenger insisted the tie would have panned out in a different manner had Arsenal been able to play with 11 men in the first leg, Pep Guardiola had little doubts over the fact that Bayern Munich were the superior team in their Champions League last 16 encounter.
Taking a 2-0 lead to the Allianz Arena, Bayern Munich saw off the challenge from Arsenal easily enough, with the second leg ending 1-1 and the defending champions going through to the quarterfinals 3-1 on aggregate.
Wenger was adamant over the fact that Arsenal might have made a game of it had that pivotal red card not been shown to Wojciech Szczesny in the first leg, with Bayern going onto score two away goals at the Emirates with a man advantage.
Guardiola, however, believes Arsenal dominated the German champions, in the form of their life and looking more and more unstoppable with every passing game, for only eight minutes over the entire 180 minutes of the tie.
"We played at a very high level and have now reached the quarterfinals," Guardiola purred. "They were only better in the first eight minutes of the first leg, other than that we were the better side. Arsenal did not have any chances in the first half and then it was over."
Arsenal were pretty disappointing going forward on Tuesday night, with only Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain looking remotely dangerous.
After a goalless first half, Bayern opened the scoring via Bastian Schweinsteiger with Lukas Podolski equalising immediately. Needing another two goals to knock Bayern out and move into the quarterfinals, Arsenal rarely looked threatening with Bayern also missing a late penalty.
"We enjoyed a 2-0 advantage from the first leg. Arsenal had prepared for this game and decided to play on the counterattack," Guardiola added. "We managed to minimise the number of mistakes we made. We played in a very intelligent way. I am very pleased with my team."
The man who won the penalty - Arjen Robben - felt Bayern were the deserved winners over the two legs, but also admitted the draw at the Allianz Arena was the right result.
"They [Arsenal] have a very good team, they have a lot of quality on the pitch," Robben told Sky Sports. "If you give them the ball, they can play and cause you troubles. The main thing for us was to keep ball possession and to control the game.
"And that's what we did in the first half. We played really well, created chances and with a bit more luck, we should have scored a goal. In the second half, we scored and looked in a comfortable position.
"But then, for five or 10 minutes, we lost a little control. We recovered though, and in the end I think it was a deserved draw but also deserved that we go through to the quarterfinals."
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