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Almost perfect not good enough for Arsenal

Published: Thursday 14 March 2013, 8.12CET
"We almost played the perfect game tonight," Olivier Giroud told UEFA.com as Arsenal FC digested a 2-0 win at FC Bayern München and an away goals exit from the round of 16.
by Andy James
from Fußball Arena München

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Published: Thursday 14 March 2013, 8.12CET

Almost perfect not good enough for Arsenal

"We almost played the perfect game tonight," Olivier Giroud told UEFA.com as Arsenal FC digested a 2-0 win at FC Bayern München and an away goals exit from the round of 16.

Olivier Giroud felt Arsenal FC had produced an "almost perfect" performance in their 2-0 UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg victory at FC Bayern München but was left to rue Mario Mandžukić's fortuitous third goal three weeks previously as the Gunners were knocked out of the competition on away goals. The French forward told UEFA.com that Bayern are among his favourites to win the competition, while Theo Walcott was left feeling "weird" after bowing out on a high.

Olivier Giroud, Arsenal forward
We're very disappointed tonight because we played well – with pride and for our fans. We deserved much better and showed a good response after a bad performance in the first leg. The third goal we conceded at home made the difference.

We almost played the perfect game tonight. We scored in the third minute and played as well as we could against one of Europe's greatest teams. We succeeded in scoring a second but it was a bit too late after Bayern had done a good job running the clock down. We're very frustrated because we gave our all and kept our heads up.

Bayern have a great chance of winning the Champions League because they are very good technically and they have a big squad. They're my favourites, along with Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Theo Walcott, Arsenal forward
It's just so disappointing. The mistakes we made in the first leg cost us. You can't do that at the top level, but you have to give the guys credit for tonight's performance. We went out with pride, worked hard and worked for each other. We need to do that more often. It's a weird feeling at the moment.

Bayern are a top-class team. They can hit you on the break and they're very well organised, but I felt we were very well organised too and we matched them all over the park. It just wasn't meant to be. It was very difficult out there. The pitch was quite slippery, but that's football for you. I think the guys have got to be happy with what we did.

Mikel Arteta, Arsenal midfielder
It's mixed feelings. Obviously it was very hard to come here with the result we had in London. Whenever you concede three goals at home, it's going to be tough, especially coming here. We tried until the very end, though. The early goal gave us confidence and created a bit of uncertainty on Bayern's side. After the second goal it was game on.

We talked before the game about how if we could score in the first 15 minutes it would give us the belief we needed and the game could go our way. That's what we tried to do. It was a very psychological game and physically very demanding as well. It was tough and we got a good result, but it wasn't good enough.

It's disappointing because the way we conceded the goals at home was not good enough and you're going to pay for that in the Champions League, playing against top teams. We won here, but we are out and we can't be happy – although we can be proud of the reaction we showed.

Last updated: 18/03/13 17.32CET

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