Arsenal will have to knock out the German and European champions to progress to the Champions League quarter-finals.
If Arsene Wenger was given the choice to handpick the Gunners’ Champions League last 16 opponents, there are two teams he wouldn’t have gone anywhere near.
Unfortunately for the Premier League leaders they drew one of them and they will face German giants Bayern Munich for the second season running.
Wenger was fuming when Arsenal fell at Napoli, which guaranteed they would finish second in their group during the group stage and they have been punished with arguably the most difficult tie of the first knock out round.
However, it’s done and dusted and Arsenal have to think positively, starting with how well they played against Bayern Munich in this competition last season.
The Gunners seemed a little bit dazed in the first leg of last season’s tie but they played brilliantly to win away in Germany, very nearly knocking the eventual winners out of the competition.
Despite the 6-3 defeat to Manchester City over the weekend, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that Arsenal have been one of the best teams in England and Europe so far this season.
Wenger is in charge of a side that has as much midfield talent as any of the contenders to win the Champions League and despite the six goals conceded at the Etihad, the defence has been relatively solid.
Arsenal improved on that side that played Bayern last season over the summer and they will have the chance to do so again when the January transfer window opens up.
Wenger and his team will want to win the Champions League more than anything else and to do that, these are the sort of games they are going to have to win as they look to get themselves into the final and down to a 90 minute match.
Here’s what Gunners everywhere made of the draw.
What a draw again! We're facing Bayern once more.:)— Lukas-Podolski.com (@Podolski10) December 16, 2013
Bayern Munich have failed to score just once in their last 88 matches. That was against Arsenal in the Champions League last season. #AFC— Chigozie Õzil (@Onyeze_45) December 16, 2013
At least Wenger now has reason to splurge in January. It's the only way we'll get through to the quarters. #Afc— #CalebNotCaleb™ (@BothaCaleb) December 16, 2013
If Gooners thought Dec was tough, Feb will be the toughest month of the season. Squad rotation needed. #AFC— MIKE DELINQUENT (@mikedelinquent) December 16, 2013