When the string of relatively unfortunate events unraveled on Wednesday on the last day of the Champions League group stage, Arsenal supporters winced at the thought of a draw like this. The Gunners had played too well in Europe this campaign to deserve drawing the treble-winners of last season, Bayern Munich.
But alas, their name was drawn with the German giants, who on Wednesday had a record streak of ten consecutive Champions League victories snapped. For casual soccer fans, it’s an intriguing tie between England’s and Germany’s best team this campaign.
For the players, it’s a mix between excitement of such a big matchup between two of Europe’s dominant franchises, and disappointment in a tough draw.
“It’s a prestigious tie but a tough opponent. It was the hardest draw amongst the second-placed teams. Arsenal are certainly not a team you’d hope to face,” Bayern captain Philipp Lahm commented after the draw was announced.
Mesut Ozil expressed his reaction to drawing many of his German national teammates:
t’s a tough draw for Arsenal no doubt, but the chance to collect the scalp of last year’s winner should be an exhilarating prospect. The two clubs were drawn together last season, with Bayern advancing through 3-3 on aggregate.
Arsenal lost 3-1 at home the first leg. But one of the lone dents in Bayern’s armour last season was a 2-0 home defeat to Arsenal, who came painfully close to shocking the Germans and advancing to the next round of the Champions League.
The tie will start with the first leg February 19th at The Emirates, and be finished March 11th at the Allianz Arena in Munich.