Arsenal’s Per Mertesacker not worried about tough draw

Per Mertesacker insists that Arsenal do not fear the prospect of a difficult Champions League last-16 draw

Per Mertesacker
Per Mertesacker joined Arsenal from Werder Bremen in 2011 Photo: Steindy/Wikimedia

Per Mertesacker insists that Arsenal do not fear the prospect of a difficult Champions League draw after scraping through to the last 16.

The Gunners booked their place in Monday’s draw as Group F runners-up despite suffering a 2-0 defeat at Napoli on Wednesday night.

Arsenal will take on either Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid or Barcelona in the next round.

If you want to achieve something in the Champions League, you have to take every opponent seriously

Per Mertesacker

But Germany international Mertesacker says the north Londoners must be prepared to beat the top teams if they harbour any hopes of winning the trophy.

“It is the same as last year,” said Mertesacker. “We got Bayern Munich last year and nearly went through.

“If you want to achieve something in the Champions League, you have to take every opponent seriously and I think it is better for us when we have a good lot, when there is a draw that we can concentrate on.

“When you look at the teams that finished top, if you pick one out, for me, I don’t mind. We want to go for it this season… we got a good result at Munich last season and after that we played a fantastic season.

“You never know what can happen with a good draw and a serious opponent – you can get so much out of a defeat or a disappointment. I hope that we learn a lot from [the Napoli game] and we are aware of the next opponent.”

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