Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger praised opponents Bayern Munich for the quality of their performance in taking a 3-1 Champions League lead at the Emirates.
The runaway Bundesliga leaders dominated the game after going in front in the seventh minute, and the under-fire Arsenal boss said that early breakthrough had been pivotal.
"The first shot on goal they scored, and after that I felt we were a bit nervous defensively and we played against a team with a lot of class as well,'' he told Sky Sports News.
"In the first half, they played much better than us. In the second half, we came back with better spirit, better domination [and got] back to 2-1 and it looked more like it would finish 2-2.
"But again we were caught on one of their counter-attacks by a team who has quality and initiative. Congratulations to Bayern."
Wenger said he had not given up hope that the north Londoners could salvage a quarter-final place, but acknowledge how tough a task that would be.
"Let's not hide the truth - it will be very difficult, but we will try to make the impossible possible,'' he said.
"We have to go over there and play completely like we play at home and try to change the score. The third goal makes it very difficult, but we have to try."