Arsene Wenger admits his side were outclassed by Bayern Munich and has all but written off Arsenal’s Champions League hopes.
The Gunners were brushed aside 3-1 by the German giants at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday night and now need close to a miracle in the second leg to book their place in the quarter-finals.
Bayern were two up in the first 21 minutes thanks to goals from Toni Kroos and Thomas Muller and although Lukas Podolski pulled one back after the break Mario Mandzukic restored the advantage 13 minutes from time to leave the Gunners facing a huge uphill battle.
“You have to give them credit for their class. In patches in the first half, it was a difference of quality in their display to ours,” Wenger said. “Bayern were fully confident and we paid for it.
“At 2-0 it became very difficult, but we put in a good battle in the second half. It looked like we might come back to 2-2, but unfortunately conceded another goal, which was a big blow.
“From that moment on, you could see we might concede one more because we didn’t keep our structure.”
Wenger now admits it will be almost impossible to turn it around in the second leg but says his players have to believe they can do it.
“Let’s not hide the truth: it will be extremely difficult against a team of that quality, they didn’t play two finals in the last three years for nothing,” he added.
“We have to give our best and hope we have built our confidence up a bit more, because that belief will be needed.”