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Guardiola salutes Bayern's possession game

Josep Guardiola believed getting a grip on possession after a shaky start was crucial for FC Bayern München while Arsène Wenger rued the "big mistakes" Arsenal FC made.

Guardiola salutes Bayern's possession game
Guardiola salutes Bayern's possession game ©UEFA.com

Arsène Wenger, Arsenal manager
We made big mistakes, but the spirit was absolutely fantastic. The penalty we missed killed the crowd. We were down to ten men and we suffered physically. It is a night when the team showed some quality, but at the end of the day we lost the game.

Wojciech Szczęsny misjudged the situation; there was no clear desire to make a foul, he misjudged the ball. But after we had lost [Kieran] Gibbs and lost a goalkeeper and made two changes – down to ten men – we had no opportunity to change the game again because you never know if another player will get injured. So you sit there. You are down to ten men and you run after the ball and they can bring fresh players on, so it killed completely the game.

I feel frustrated because it was a great football game until half-time – and there was no game at all after half-time. The game delivered what it promised at the start and in the second half it was not the same. We got caught basically on the counter for the second goal. We will have a go in the second leg, and you never know.

We had to try and keep it 0-0 and get a chance on a set piece or a counterattack. We missed a penalty, what can I say? They missed one as well, but the regret I have of course is that we missed this penalty. We needed that tonight because you could see Bayern were on the ropes at the start. We had three good chances in the first 15 minutes, we started well and I think to worry them more we needed to score that penalty.

I think [the penalty miss] affected [Mesut Özil]. You could see that. I think he wanted to do so well tonight that that affected him – you could see five or ten minutes later he was still shaking his head. It had a huge impact on his performance.

It isn't over because we fight until the end. We won at Bayern last season; we will have to try and do the same again.

Josep Guardiola, Bayern coach
To play well, you need to have the ball. You need possession or else you will struggle, which is what happened during the first 15 minutes. We gave the ball away too quickly and this can't happen against a great team like Arsenal. After Mesut Özil missed the penalty, we managed to have more possession and gained more control. When we were a man up, it certainly wasn't easy for Arsenal. We showed patience and the rest of the match was quite good.

Today we again saw that it all depends on possession. We should have fought harder during the first ten minutes. It's a question of personality; you need to want the ball. We are not a great counterattacking team, as we don't have the physical requirements for that. We always need to have the ball, that's what it boils down to.

It was three different periods – the first ten to 15 minutes Arsenal played incredibly. We were lucky, though the best keeper in the world showed his qualities. After that we played better, we started dominating. We had good attacks down the right, and after [Bayern's] penalty the game changed completely. It was still not easy with nine players in their box. It is the first time I have won at Arsenal as a manager – but now we must concentrate on the second leg. If we can defend the result then it will be a great achievement.

I played here twice and both times we played very well with Barcelona but were not able to win it. We knew it would be very difficult. They are one of the best teams in the Premier League – you can play well here but you can never dominate. With [Jack] Wilshere, [Tomáš] Rosický, Özil, they have such great players and it can be hard to get the ball. But in the second half it was different.

My experience is that this round is always difficult. Against Arsenal the principle is always to get the ball. I really like players that want the ball. Players that want to play and play and play – Toni Kroos is one of these and his goal was great. It was a fantastic performance.

Bayern achieved a great result here last year and still suffered in the second leg. This time we again take home a superb result, but anything can happen in the last five or six minutes. We need to be very alert and have to capitalise on this result, otherwise we will be eliminated – it is that simple. We have a great chance to reach the quarter-finals and with the help of our fans we will get there.