Arsenal v Bayern Munich: Jack Wilshere claims Gunners have learned from last season's exit
Arsenal were knocked out of the competition by Bayern at this stage last season
Wednesday 19 February 2014
Jack Wilshere hopes Arsenal can show they have learned from last season's elimination to Bayern Munich in Wednesday's night's reunion with the European champions.
Arsenal meet the Germans in the Champions League last 16 for a second successive season, with the first leg again at the Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners beat Bayern 2-0 in Munich in the second leg last term, but the exited the competition on away goals after a 3-1 first-leg loss.
Twelve months on to the day, Wilshere hopes to avoid a repeat of the first leg when the Germans scored twice in the opening 21 minutes.
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"We were a bit nervous going into the game last year," Wilshere said.
"We lost to Blackburn (in the FA Cup) the game before. There was a lot of tension in the stadium and it was a big game.
"Once we calmed down a bit, we took the game to them a little bit. The third goal was a lucky goal and that killed us.
"This year we'll be intelligent going into the game. First of all we'll work on our defensive duty and then we'll play."
Wilshere has taken confidence from the win at the Allianz Arena and knows the margins of victory in the Champions League are small.
"We've spoken about the importance of staying in the game," the England midfielder added.
"If it's 0-0 at home we've still got a big chance to qualify. The away goal is massive in this competition."
Wilshere is poised to return to the starting XI after a stiff back saw him drop to the bench for Sunday's FA Cup defeat of Liverpool.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger believes belief is the difference in Arsenal between the two clashes with Bayern.
"We are in much better mental shape today than we were one year ago," Wenger said. "We have a strong team spirit, a strong desire to do well and a united team.
"I believe we had always these kind of qualities but we had not always the belief. The belief is built by the results.
"On that front we are stronger. We believe we can do it, but that's down to the quality of our performance."
Bayern have been lauded as the world's best, with a trophy haul to prove it.
But it is a different side managed by Pep Guardiola which has left a lasting impression on Wenger, one he hopes Bayern will not replicate.
"I was most impressed by the Barcelona team at the peak, through the speed of their passing and the speed of their game," Wenger said.
"The first time we played them at the Emirates (in 2010), the first half an hour was the best I've seen.
"Hopefully I will not have the same impression (on Wednesday)."
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