Arsenal could have avoided being paired with Bayern Munich in the first knockout round of the Champions League had they not been beaten in Italy when they took on Napoli at the Stadio San Paolo on December 11.
The club have, in the words of secretary David Miles, 'paid the price' of their last group game failings.
'It's obviously a very tough tie,' said Miles to Sky Sports after the Champions League ceremony in Nyon, Switzerland earlier today, December 16. He continued: 'We had Bayern last year and Barcelona in two previous years [so perhaps knew] we would get the rough end of the draw!
'We look forward to the games and we only lost on away goals [against Bayern 3-3 in 2012-2013 season], we're hopeful we can turn the tide [this year].'
Of the Premier League teams who finished in the second spot in the Champions League group stage, Manchester City were partnered with Bayern Munich while Chelsea, who topped their group, will take on the seemingly less daunting opponent - Galatasaray.
'We've paid the price [of not topping our group],' Miles added. 'That's a fact… I'd rather we were in the other half of the draw but we are where we are.
'We're top of the Premier League and Bayern are top of the Bundesliga. This is the stand-out tie of the round as far as I'm concerned and a credit to European football.
'It's possible this will show who has improved most and I hope it will be us!
'Generally we've played well and consistently this season,' he concluded.
image: © lodekka