Five-star Bayern Munich thrash Arsenal as Real Madrid put three past Napoli

Mesut Ozil

Arsenal's football club's record signing Mesut Ozil is not playing his A-game, as per chief coach Arsene Wenger as they prepare to face Bayern Munich in the first leg of the Champions League pre-quarterfinals on Wednesday.

Arsenal now look set to exit the Champions League at the last-16 stage for the seventh year running, with Ferdinand saying Wenger should even rest his first-teamers for the second leg.

"FC Hollywood" are seven points clear at the top of the Bundesliga, and have won ten of their last eleven matches. We were unlucky on the second goal because the referee [initially] gives a corner for us, there were two balls on the pitch and we had four players not there.

The Premier League's bottom side are on a mid-season break in the Big Apple, and their manager is hatching a plan to prevent them from being relegated.

"But I feel that this is a good opportunity".

Wenger enters this tie with the familiar chorus of trapped rage at his own consistent, but consistently moderate, standards of elite-level success.

Real Madrid without Gareth Bale against full-strength Napoli
Mark Donaldson and Craig Burley make their predictions for the first-leg matches of this week's UCL ties. It's a big game, but the final is in Cardiff. "Everyone wants to win, it's a long process".

Ancelotti believes Wenger should be praised for the job he has done.

Arsenal have lost to Bayern at this stage of the Champions League three times since 2005 but Wenger stressed that his side have the advantage of a home second leg and the quality to leave Munich with a good result. Not him, what's right for the club. "The courage is important". Player very well in the second half. Neuer was quick to row back on the suggestion that Arsenal might be a soft touch.

Arsenal has a challenge ahead of them if they want to win the Champions League. "There was no contact and, as you know, I'm happy and satisfied here and my contract I've just extended actually".

He told Omnisport: "On the one hand I was surprised about his decision to retire, but on the other hand, if you know Philipp you know that he can appreciate his efficiency better than anyone else". Mats Hummels joined Bayern to win trophies - and the closest he came to winning this one was losing to his current team in the 2013 final in London. Could you say it was because Koscielny wasn't in the defence? "But we must play well from back to front".

As Bayern Munich came together on a sunny but cold winter's morning on Tuesday, the walls were up around the training ground.

Arsene Wenger's troops need to have belief to beat the German champions, but that is something sadly lacking after not only their recent shortcomings against Bayern, but a bad record against the top six in England.

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