LONDON: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, under intense pressure already, had no excuses to offer after the Gunners were pushed to the brink of the exit from their last realistic trophy target.

A consolation goal from Lukas Podolski was also Arsenal could raise in a 3-1 home defeat by Bayern Munich in their Champions League second round first leg. The prospects of the Gunner turning the tie around in Germany are minimal and they are already out of the FA Cup and the League Cup and may struggle to finish in the Premier top four, let alone win the championship title.

Wenger said: “We  played against  a good team who took advantage of every opportunity they created. We were a bit nervous and Bayern were fully confident and we paid for it.

“At 2-0 down it was very difficult but we put in a good battle. It looked like it would come back to 2-2 but unfortunately we conceded another goal and the goal for 3-1 was a big blow for the team and from that moment on we  could even have conceded one more because we did not keep our structure.

“The return will be extremely difficult against a team of that quality. We have to give our best over there and hope that, until the second leg, we can build up our confidence a bit more to go into the game with the belief that  will be needed.

“The players gave absolutely everything [but] we played against a side who play with no doubts, everything in the last six months has been positive for them, every player is confident to play with full power, full confidence, which is not our case at the moment.

“You have to give Bayern credit for their class. They’re a team of stars and, in patches in the first half, there was a difference of quality compared to ours. They are a quality side who can beat anybody in Europe.”

Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes, who hands over to Pep Guardiola in the summer, was satisfied with both his team’s result and performance.

“We are currently in astonishing form,” said Heynckes who won the Champions League with Real Madrid back in 1998. “Our quality is we can punish even the smallest mistakes by our opponents [and] Arsenal allowed us quite a few things.”

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