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Boateng: Arsenal 'the toughest' draw for Bayern

FC Bayern München defender Jérôme Boateng and captain Philipp Lahm spoke of Premier League leaders Arsenal FC being the most difficult last-16 draw for the holders.

Background: Arsenal FC v FC Bayern München ©Getty Images

FC Bayern München captain Philipp Lahm and defensive partner Jérôme Boateng were in agreement that Arsenal FC are "the toughest team we could have drawn" in the UEFA Champions League round of 16. However, Lahm, like Manuel Neur, suggested the tie could also be a "good omen" for Josep Guardiola's side, the holders having beaten the Gunners on away goals at the same stage last season. Arsenal, meanwhile, are looking forward to "two fantastic games". 

Jérôme Boateng, Bayern defender
Arsenal are the toughest team we could have drawn. They will be highly motivated after we knocked them out last season. We are expecting two very intense games.

Philipp Lahm, Bayern captain
It's a good omen, but tough opponents. They are the strongest team we could have drawn and it's certainly not what we were hoping for. Arsenal have made some quality new signings and will prove a real challenge for us. However, our goal is obviously to reach the next round.

Manuel Neuer, Bayern goalkeeper 
[They're] a team we know very well and attractive opponents for us. Perhaps it's a good omen for us, seeing that we also played them last season at this stage. We obviously look forward to playing against our team-mates from the national team and we have good memories when it comes to London.

Dante, Bayern defender 
We will need to be highly focused in both games. It's not the best draw for us, we wanted to avoid Arsenal and Milan, but that's how it goes in the Champions League. There are lots of quality teams out there. Arsenal have improved a lot this season compared to last year.

David Miles, Arsenal secretary
We had Bayern last year, Barcelona the two years before; it seems as though we are always picking the hardest tie. But our luck will change at some stage and we are looking forward to two fantastic games – and hopefully we will be triumphant this year. We are playing well this year. We are top of the Premier League, Bayern are top of the Bundesliga, so it should be two fantastic games, and there is no reason why we should not win, no reason at all.

It is fantastic for the supporters, this is what supporters of big clubs love, they love the big Champions League matches. Two sell-out gates, 60,000 in London and a sell-out in Munich. The whole thing is exactly what European football is about.