David Alaba admits Bayern Munich were not at their best against Arsenal on Tuesday night but still feels that they were the better side over the two legs of their Champions League last-16 tie.
The Bavarians coasted to a 2-0 victory at the Emirates but were criticised for a relatively lacklustre showing in the return leg at the Allianz Arena, which saw Lukas Podolski cancel out Bastian Schweinsteiger's 57th-minute opener as the hosts triumphed 3-1 on aggregate.
However, while Alaba has acknowledged that Pep Guardiola's men turned in a patchy display in their own backyard, he is adamant that they progressed to the quarter-finals on merit.
“We were in control and we deserved to go through,” the Austria international told his club's official website.
“The first half was very good. We dropped off a bit in the second half. We gave the ball away too much and we didn’t play to our ability. We’re well aware of that.”
Bayern, of course, are bidding to become the first side to successfully defend the Champions League but are likely to face stiff competition from Liga heavyweights Barcelona and Real Madrid, both of whom have also already qualified for the quarter-finals.
However, Alaba insists that he does not care which side they draw in the last eight.
“No, it doesn’t really matter to me," the 21-year-old stated. "We focus on our game and build on our strengths.
"So, it’s not such a big issue whether we play Barcelona, Real [Madrid] or slightly less well-known opponents.”
Alaba has become an integral part of the Bayern starting line-up, as evidenced by the fact that he has missed only three of 24 Bundesliga outings this season, and he says he feels privileged to have the opportunity to share the same pitch as some of the best players in the world.
“It’s fantastic fun playing in this team,” he enthused. “That includes the training sessions.
"We want to give something back to the fans, make them happy and we’re never satisfied even if we’re winning 4-0 after 80 minutes. This enthusiasm for the game is our strongest card."