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Lukas Podolski Great Goal ~ Bayern Munich vs Arsenal (1-1) UEFA Champions League 11.03.2014

Video Rating: five / five

ARSENAL FIRED UP

Arsenal are looking to get their first win at White Hart Lane since 2007 and Lukas Podolski has said that he is all fired up to help the club achieve exactly that. The striker scored in the 1-1 draw with Bayern Munich at the Allianz arena. Even though it did not help Arsenal qualify for the quarter-finals, it certainly helped restore some of the pride after losing the first leg 2-0. Podolski managed to score the goal from out of nothing against his former club. This was his first since the start of the season, although he has been out injured for most of this period.

Arsenal will be coming up against Tottenham team that lost 4-0 to Chelsea last weekend. Tim Sherwood was especially critical of his players after the match and he is expected to get a reaction from them in this crucial match. Tottenham have not certainly prepared well for this encounter after losing the midweek Europa league clash with Benfica. Podolski has stated that three points is the need of the hour for Arsenal since they need to stay in touch with Chelsea and Liverpool at the top of the table.

Chelsea will be visiting Villa Park to play Aston Villa, while Liverpool will be at Old Trafford to play against Manchester United.

“I’ve always liked derbies. When I played in Munich, or Cologne or even here in Arsenal I always liked derbies because there’s a special atmosphere and it’s a special fight. We want to go there, get the three points and drive back home. This is important for us. We must fight for the club, for the fans and I think this is an important game so I look forward to Sunday now. It’s always special when you score a goal,” said the striker ahead of the match.

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Video clip Score: 4 / five

PODOLSKI FACES BAYERN

Lukas Podolski joined Bayern Munich in 2006 but left the German titans on 2009 after the arrival of Luca Toni to the club saw Podolski being dropped down the pecking order and he ultimately decided on leaving the club.

The Arsenal player has now admitted that it was a mistake for him to leave Bayern Munich and it would have been a better move for him to stay with the German team instead of leaving.

“I believe that if Jupp Heynckes had arrived one or two weeks earlier in 2009, I would probably still be at Bayern now. He was desperate to keep me. From a purely sporting perspective, returning to Cologne was certainly not very helpful.” Podolski told Germany’s Sport Bild magazine.

Podolski has been struggling to get a spot in the starting lineup of Arsene Wenger as the German forward is sustaining a series of injuries that sparked a number of rumors of him leaving Arsenal and joining his homeland club, Cologne but those rumors were quickly shut down by Podolski.

‘’That was a myth. There was absolutely no truth in it. The coach told me as such, and I knew there was no truth in it.” Podolski revealed.

The consistent number of injuries that Podolski has been suffering from in this season has forced Wenger on keeping an eye out on the transfer market and the rumors continue emerging concerning his future with Arsenal and one of the latest ones is Mario Balotelli being linked with the Premier League club. Arsenal is reportedly ready to sell Podolski in order to lure in Balotelli from Ac.Milan.

During Podolski’s debut season with Arsenal, the German forward managed on scoring 16 goals and provided 11 assists for the English club but in the current campaign, he has been limited to only a few appearances.

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Online video Score: three / 5

BAYERN FACE ARSENAL

Bayern Munich managed to beat Arsenal in the knockout stages of the Champions league on their way to win the competition last season. The German outfit will be hoping for great omen this time around since they once again face Arsenal in the knockout stages. This is one of the high-profile matchups of the last 16 round, which will also see Manchester City taking on Barcelona. Arsenal failed to finish top of the group due to a final day defeat against Napoli. If they had topped the group, then they would have faced clubs significantly less stronger than Bayern Munich.

Podolski, who was part of the team that was defeated by his former club last season, says that it is time that Arsenal get their revenge on the German outfit. The striker recently returned from a long absence due to injury. His presence gives Arsene Wenger options upfront, which is something he has not had the luxury for most of this campaign. The first leg will be at home, which is yet another disappointment for Arsenal. After the arrival of Guardiola, Bayern have become even more stronger than they already were and they will pose a strong opposition.

Arsenal have never won the Champions league in the history.

“We know them well and Bayern are one of the best teams around, but we are also playing a good season and we’ll try all we can to turn around the result from last season this time around. Of course I know them and am friends with them – I know the bosses (president) Uli Hoeness and (chairman) Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and everybody who works at the club, but when the game approaches and we get out onto the field, then you are only focused,” said Podolski.

The former Bayern Munich striker has scored five goals this campaign.

VILLA STAR COMES OUT

Former Aston Villa midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger has come out with an astonishing revelation that he is gay. He recently finished his playing career after representing popular clubs like Aston Villa and West Ham. He has also made numerous appearances for the German national team as well. Hitzlsperger has revealed that he has so far not disclosed his sexual orientation because of the fear of being punished by FIFA. He has received support from several players across the world. He is one of the very few to have come out openly about his homosexuality.

Lukas Podolski, who is his former international colleague, is one of the several to come out in support of Hitzlsperger. He has stated that it is a brave decision by the 31-year-old, who retired in September of last year after his spell with Everton. Injuries of persistent magnitude forced him to announce the decision. He is best known for his five years at Stuttgart where he made more than 125 appearances. Justin Fashanu and Robbie Rogers are some of the players who have come out in the open about their sexuality.

Podolski, who recently returned from a long injury layoff, says that it is a brave decision by his international colleague and one that should be respected.

“Brave and right decision. Respect, Thomas Hitzlsperger. His outing is a important sign in our time,” said Arsenal striker in his tweet.

“Thomas Hitzlsperger has shown a lot of courage today. Sad times when people have to wait till they retire from their chosen profession. Before they feel other people will judge them solely on who the human being is. Shame on all of us as a society,” said QPR midfielder Joey Barton in his tweet. Many other players have come out in support of Hitzlsperger after his revelation in a German daily.

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Video Ranking: five / 5

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Movie Score: five / 5

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Video Score: three / five