Jack Wilshere implored Arsenal FC to "have more self-belief" after a slow start against FC Bayern München, with Theo Walcott telling the Gunners to play without fear in Munich.
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Jack Wilshere was left to rue Arsenal FC's slow start to their UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg against FC Bayern München. Two down midway through the opening half, Arsenal fought back to halve their arrears but ultimately lost 3-1. England midfielder Wilshere nevertheless feels the Gunners showed in spells that they can handle the Bundesliga leaders, while international team-mate Theo Walcott was equally keen to draw on the positives.
Jack Wilshere, Arsenal midfielder
We're disappointed we lost by a bigger margin than we should have. We started the second half really well – it's a shame we couldn't do that in the first half – and we had a chance to make it 2-2, but they went down the other end and made it 3-1 so it makes it difficult for us.
We sort of questioned ourselves in the the first half: 'Can we really live with it?' But we showed when we step up and really play that we can so we've got to have a bit more self-belief. We play for Arsenal and we can't be giving up. We need to go there in good spirits and you never know what can happen. It's going to be difficult but we're not out of it. We've got to believe.
Theo Walcott, Arsenal forward
We always felt that if we got the goal they might stumble a little bit, but they dealt with it quite well and they got that killer blow. We can't be down in the dumps about it, we've got to try and take the positives and learn from it. I thought we fought quite well and battled for each other.
We wanted to keep a clean sheet but it wasn't meant to be. They didn't create too much but they took their chances when they came. We need to dominate like we did in the second half. We need not to dwell on this result and when we go over there we've got to be positive. Last season against AC Milan we were 4-0 down [at this stage] and we did very well at home [winning 3-0]. We've got to show what we can do and play without any fear because we've got nothing to lose.
Lukas Podolski, Arsenal forward
We must score three goals in Munich and this will be very difficult. I think we came out well for the second half; when we scored it was nearly 2-2 and it would have been another match, but it finished 3-1. We put on good pressure in the second half but we must switch on from the beginning. It was no surprise because they have played a very good season in Germany and they are a good side. It'll be very difficult but we have a chance when we go to Munich and we will fight.