sport

Per takes heart from history

Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker has urged his side to take heart from last season's trip to Bayern Munich for proof they can still reach the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals despite losing their last-16 first leg 2-0.

Defending champions Bayern are now favourites to progress to the last eight as they took advantage of the 37th-minute dismissal of Gunners goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny to net second-half goals through Toni Kroos and Thomas Muller at Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal will now need to produce something special at the Allianz Arena next month to avoid elimination, but they have cause for optimism as last year they won 2-0 in Munich at exactly the same stage of the competition.

Bayern still went through on that occasion having won the first leg 3-1, but Mertesacker prefers to look at the positives and insists his side are also mentally stronger now than they were 12 months ago.

"It's a little blow but when you look back at last year we lost here 3-1, it was a bit worse then than now, so we are looking forward to Munich and why can we not repeat that from last year," he told Sky Sports.

"Mentally we are stronger than last year."

Regarding Arsenal's performance, which saw them miss a great chance to take an eighth-minute lead when Mesut Ozil saw his penalty saved, Mertesacker believes they deserved more early on.

"I think we started really well, we would have deserved one goal at least," said the Germany international.

"There are a lot of ifs and buts, we have to take the result, it's a bit of blow for us but we have to remind ourselves of last year when we went to Munich."