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Feb 20, 2014

Guardiola hopeful of Toni Kroos stay

Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola has expressed his hope that reported Manchester United target Toni Kroos will sign a new contract after he helped inspire the club to a 2-0 win over Arsenal in the Champions League.

• Brewin: Gunners pay penalty
• Delaney: 50-50 moments
• Mangan: Unfair punishment

Midfielder Kroos not only provided the opening goal of the night, with a curled finish from outside the box, but also set up Arjen Robben before the red card for Arsenal shot-stopper Wojciech Szczesny.

“He played on a very, very high level. That was real Champions League level,” Guardiola said of Kroos. The Germany midfielder has so far not signed a new contract at Bayern, and has put talks on hold until the end of the season.

Guardiola, though, has no plans to let Kroos leave the club. “We all want him to prolong [his stay], and he also wants that, I am very positive about it. The club, we all want that.”

"Big players always show up for the big games -- and one took place on Wednesday," Kroos told reporters after the game.

Kroos and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer were highlighted for praise in the German media, after the latter denied his former Schalke teammate Mesut Ozil from the penalty spot.

“Neuer like a Titan [a reference to former Bayern keeper Oliver Kahn, who was dubbed 'Titan' during his career] and trick-shot artist Kroos,” the Munich daily Abendzeitung commented. The newspaper reported on a “commanding” Neuer and dubbed Kroos the “instigator” of Bayern’s game.

Das ganz kroose Ding” [the real big thing] German tabloid Bild headlined. “His decisive goal in the 54th minute could make the Bayern bosses think about a hefty pay rise for Kroos,” the copy said.

The broadsheet Sueddeutsche focused on Bayern’s possession of the ball in the second half, also singling out Kroos, who had “according to the official stats more touches of the ball than all the players of Arsenal added together.”

“Bavarian result and English penalties,” FAZ, another broadsheet, headlined, and said that Bayern now are in “a good starting position for the next historic task, the goal to become the first team ever to defend the Champions League title.”

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