Parlour fears Arsenal wipeout

10 March 2014 05:31

Ray Parlour fears the second leg of Arsenal's Champions League last-16 tie with Bayern Munich will not be worth watching if the Gunners concede an early goal.

Arsene Wenger's men had reigning European champions Bayern under pressure in the first leg at the Emirates Stadium, but a missed Mesut Ozil penalty saw the Gunners take their collective foot off the throat.

And the sending-off of Wojciech Szczesny contributed to the Germans easing to a 2-0 win, presenting them with a lead which Arsenal are aiming to overturn at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday night.

"It's going to be tough," former Arsenal midfielder Parlour, an ambassador for the Budweiser Open Trials campaign, which will provide amateur footballers with the opportunity to play at Wembley in front of professional scouts, told Press Association Sport at St George's Park.

"I just hope they can make a game of it. If they do score early, Bayern Munich, the last 70, 80 minutes is probably not worth watching.

"If Arsenal can get the first goal it will put pressure on Bayern Munich.

"But I don't think it will be a game where Bayern Munich sit back. I think they will come out and have a go at Arsenal and try to get the first goal, because it is game over if they do.

"It's very important that first goal and you never know, but I can't see Bayern Munich making the same mistake again (with a slow start) in the second leg."

The Gunners' chances of ending their near nine-year wait for a trophy are more favourable in the FA Cup, where they have been drawn with holders Wigan in the semi-finals after beating Everton on Saturday.

Wenger's side are bidding for their first silverware since the 2005 FA Cup but must first handle the Latics, who won at Wembley last term but were also relegated from the Premier League.

"They're big favourites now to win the FA Cup," Parlour said of Arsenal.

"It's a massive opportunity. After nine years without a trophy, I don't think they'll get a better chance this season for Arsenal to stop their rot.

"The FA Cup would be a great trophy to win. I'm sure the fans would be delighted with the season if they could win a trophy, come in the top three positions (in the Premier League) and be in the Champions League next year.

"It would be fantastic for the fans to go to Wembley and pick up a trophy."

The semi-final is also at Wembley, with Wigan buoyed by another surprise result against Manchester City, last season's beaten finalists.

"It was a big shock Wigan getting through," Parlour said.

"They'll be looking at promotion from the Championship, but what an opportunity to go to Wembley and play against Arsenal.

"Wigan are a good side. (Uwe) Rosler's done a brilliant job there."

Source: PA

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