• Champions League

Kroos warns against complacency

ESPN staff
March 11, 2013
Toni Kroos believes Bayern will still need to be at their best against Arsenal © Getty Images

Toni Kroos says Bayern Munich will not be taking anything for granted when they welcome Arsenal for the Champions League last-16 second leg on Wednesday, despite holding a 3-1 advantage.

Bayern have had an outstanding season to date, sitting 20 points clear at the top of the Bundesliga as well as having a DFB-Pokal semi-final to look forward to, while they come into Wednesday's clash with three away goals to their name.

Arsenal, meanwhile, have had a frustrating campaign and face a battle to qualify for the Champions League next season, with few giving them a chance in Munich.

Kroos, however, believes Bayern will still need to be performing at their best at the Allianz Arena if they want to book their place in the quarter-finals of the competition.

"It is extremely good to be 3-1 up ahead of a home game but it will not be easy as Arsenal are a very good team," he said in the Sun. "But we will be really stupid if we go into this game with the wrong attitude and then give it all away and fail to qualify for the quarter-finals. I hope this does not happen.

"Last season, we finished second in the league and runners-up in both the Champions League and German Cup final. At the moment, the aim is to win all three of those trophies. But first of all, let's see this game through."

Bayern team-mate Javi Martinez is also well aware of the threat Arsenal pose, especially in his close friend Santi Cazorla.

"I speak to Santi a lot. He is a big friend of mine and we speak a lot and exchange a lot of texts," Martinez said. "Santi is very comfortable in London. It is a place he likes and he enjoys playing for Arsenal. He is a special player and I know that. We must be ready for him and the rest of the team. Santi is capable of anything - he is a really special player.

"He keeps telling me how they are determined to come and win and do something special. We have to be very careful of him as he can hurt teams."

Bayern captain Philipp Lahm added: "Arsenal will be a very tough game. We have a good starting position. It is not our aim to see this game out 0-0 but we obviously do not want to concede a goal. We want to score and this means we will have do work very hard on Wednesday.

"They have to score three times and as a result, we know they will be very offensive. The advantage for us if that we should be able to use our strength and hit them on the counter-attack."

Bayern struggled in their last game against lowly Fortuna Dusseldorf, eventually winning 3-2 thanks to a late Jerome Boateng goal.

And manager Jupp Heynckes believes Saturday's victory shows why his side cannot afford to be complacent when taking on the Gunners.

"This game showed that we have not won games even before the kick-off. The team twice came back from behind and showed great morale," he said. "As long as we are not mathematically German champions, we will not accept congratulations.

"Arsenal were not playing this weekend and can prepare optimally. They are not coming to Allianz Arena to get eliminated, instead they want to make the impossible possible."

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