Wenger calls for more heroics from Arsenal against Bayern
Arsene Wenger insists Arsenal have drawn belief from famous fightbacks as they attempt to turn around their Champions League tie at Bayern Munich.
The Gunners appear to be facing an uphill task after the holders claimed a commanding 2-0 win in the first leg of the last-16 clash at the Emirates.
Jack Wilshere’s absence has not helped Arsenal’s cause, with the midfielder sustaining a fractured foot on England duty, but Wenger still retains hope that his side can pull off a memorable rally in Germany on Tuesday night.
Arsenal narrowly went out on away goals to Bayern last season after losing the first leg in London 3-1, while the north Londoners thrashed Inter Milan 5-1 away in a group game in 2003 following a 3-0 home defeat.
"It is a possible task, that is the most important thing. My team has quality and ambition," said Wenger. "History is important in our belief. We know we can do it, because we have already done it (before).
"The way to win is to produce a top-level performance and turn up with quality and belief.
"The statistics are against us, but we have won 5-1 at Inter, we have won everywhere in Europe," he said. "We have had a few good nights in Europe but it would be absolutely great (if we won tomorrow)."
The dismissal of keeper Wojciech Szczesny allowed Bayern to take a firm grip on the tie, heaping more pain on Arsenal with goals from Toni Kroos and Thomas Muller.
Wenger was infuriated by the dismissal, suggesting that Bayern’s Arjen Robben ‘made more of it’ and called on referee Svein Oddvar Moen to keep an eye out for ‘tricks’ in the second leg.
"What we want is a good referee and the closer they are to the tough leagues, the more chances they have to detect the tricks that can decide the game. But that is the same for Bayern, because I talk about my players and the Bayern players," he said.
"What I mean sometimes is that when you come from a league that is less pacey…I don’t know.
"Honestly, I never look at the referee before the game. I never have any preconceived ideas.
"Sometimes when referees have big experience it helps them get out of tricky situations.
"I think you do not want players to stay on the pitch who deserve to be sent off, but as well you do not want games to be killed, or the interest of the game to be killed, for reasons that are tricky.
"To find that kind of balance, the experience of the referee is important."
Arsenal left it late before they wrapped up a 4-1 FA Cup win over Everton on Saturday through Olivier Giroud’s double and Wenger urged his players not to panic if they do not gain an early breakthrough.
"We scored two late goals against Everton, so we do not need to be nervous or impatient," he said.
"We know that we have to attack but we also know we have to defend. We must find the right balance."
As well as the suspended Szczesny and injured Wilshere, Arsenal will be without defender Kieran Gibbs (calf) and striker Yaya Sanogo (foot).
However, centre-half Laurent Koscielny is in contention having missed the FA Cup win over Everton because of a hamstring problem, while teenage midfielder Isaac Hayden is also in the squad.