Flamini: Arsenal ready to face Bayern
Arsenal midfielder Mathieu Flamini believes his side are on the front foot once again ahead of their Champions League last-16 clash with Bayern Munich on Wednesday.
A 5-1 drubbing against Liverpool at Anfield and a disappointing 0-0 draw at home to Manchester United coincided with Flamini being suspended from the Gunners line-up earlier this month, but Arsene Wenger's side returned to winning ways in fine style with a morale boosting 2-1 FA Cup win against Liverpool on Sunday.
Now Flamini has suggested that win against Brendan Rodgers' in-form side was the ideal tonic ahead of a match with the reigning European champions, as he insisted the Gunners defeat against Bayern in last season's Champions League will not be a factor in the re-match.
"Of course it [Liverpool FA Cup win] gives us momentum because it is an important week," Flamini told the Arsenal website. "It was important to qualify in the FA Cup as we wanted to be on a good run against Bayern on Wednesday.
"We know it won't be an easy game because Bayern are a strong, strong team but we are Arsenal, we have big ambitions and if we want to qualify we want to produce a big result against them. We'll do everything, we'll try to play our best football and get a good result.
"I don't want to talk about last year [when Bayern beat Arsenal on away goals], but what I can say is Arsenal has a big ambition, we're fighting for the championship title, we're still fighting for the FA Cup and we'll do everything we can to qualify in the Champions League.
"We have had difficult games and when we had to fight and compete in these games, we did it. We have had a lot of victories away and that is very positive for us. I think the commitment this year is very important, it is very good. We have shown character and solidarity.
"We have a collective of players and we need everyone because we want to win a title, but it is tough. We will do everything, we will try to play our best football to try to win this game or to get a good result. You have to fight for every game and we are trying to do it."
Meanwhile, Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm is expecting to face an improved Arsenal side compared to the outfit his side beat in the last-16 of last season's Champions League.
"The matches of the past year are history. Now we live in the present and we know how much Arsenal have improved," he stated.
"People expect Bayern to be favourites, but it is very close. Each team has a 50-50 chance. We must play with patience and maturity."