Champions League:Gardiola Salutes Bayern.


gardiola1Bayern  need possession to play well  or else we 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 MesutÖzil 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.