CL: Arjen Robben wants Bayern Munich to raise game against Arsenal
Robben admits Bayern must raise their game against a tough Arsenal when they travel to Munich for the Champions League Round-of-16 encounter
Bayern's Arjen Robben during a practice session yesterday. Pic/AFP
Berlin: Evergreen Arjen Robben says Bayern Munich must raise their game for tonight's key Champions League clash against Arsenal with time running out for him to again lift the European trophy.
This season, under the Catalan's successor Carlo Ancelotti, Bayern are currently seven points clear at the top of the Bundesliga. But Robben is concerned by lacklustre recent performances in 2-1 league wins at both Freiburg and Werder Bremen, then a 1-1 home draw with Schalke before needing two late goals to see off struggling Ingolstadt.
He netted 60 seconds after Arturo Vidal's 90th-minute goal to get Bayern out of jail with a 2-0 win last Saturday at relegation-threatened Ingolstadt. "If we want to win something this season, we will have to play differently," he said. "If we don't play better against Arsenal, it will be very difficult."
'Week of truth for Bayern'
Robben told German magazine Kicker that this is the 'week of truth' for Bayern's European ambitions in 2016/17 as they look to maintain their record 15-match winning streak at home in the Champions League.
Not since 2011, when they bowed out to Inter Milan after losing 3-2 at home in the second leg, has Bayern exited at the last 16 stage of the Champions League. Normally, we are always present at this stage of the competition, we have enough experience to know what we have to do," said Robben.
The 33-year-old scored Bayern's winning goal in the 2013 final at Wembley to seal the 2-1 victory over Borussia Dortmund.
Time running out for Arjen
He has a Bayern contract until June 2018, but time is running out for the injury-prone Dutch winger to get his hands on the Champions League trophy again. "I am happy to play Bayern one more year," he said in January after signing a one-year extension. "The team is one of the best in the world."
After three consecutive semi-final exits, the Bavarian giants are desperate to make this year's final, in Cardiff on June 3, at the fourth attempt. The Gunners and Bayern know each well, with the Germans having won five of their 10 meetings in Europe. Arsenal have lost in the last 16 in each of the last six seasons.