Arsenal outclassed and comprehensively beaten 5-1 by Bayern Munich
Arsenal were comprehensively beaten 5-1 by Bayern Munich in the first leg of their last 16 Champions League tie at the Allianz Arena tonight.
It leaves the Gunners facing a seventh successive last 16 exit from the competition.
Arsenal were level at half-time, with Alexis Sanchez cancelling out Arjen Robben’s opener.
The German Champions though scored three second-half goals in ten minutes to take control of the tie. The goals coming from Robert Lewandowski and Thiago (2).
Substitute Thomas Muller scored a late 5th goal for Bayern to effectively put the tie to bed.
Tonight was the third time Arsenal have met Bayern Munich at this stage in the Champions League in five years.
And unless there is a spectacular turnaround at the Emirates Stadium on the 7th March then it will be the third time the Bavarians have knocked the Gunners out.
David Ospina was called into action after 9 minutes making a save low down to deny Arturo Vidal. The chance was set up by Thiago.
Bayern opened the scoring in the 11th minute, with a spectacular strike from Arjen Robben. It meant that Robben had scored in back-to-back Champions League appearances against Arsenal.
The hosts pressed for a second, with Laurent Koscielny denying Robert Lewandowski who was played through on goal by Mats Hummels’.
Shkodran Mustafi was booked as Arsenal struggled to get a foothold in the match.
It took the Gunners 25 minutes to create a chance.
Alexis Sanchez burst forward and was pulled back by Mats Hummels.
The referee showed a yellow card to Hummels.
Mesut Ozil bent the free-kick low around the Bayern wall and Manuel Neuer fumbled it, but the referee gave a free-kick to the home side for offside in the resultant scramble.
Arsenal though did equalise when Laurent Koscielny was caught by Robert Lewandowski’s boot and the referee Milorad Mazic pointed to the penalty spot.
Alexis Sanchez hit the penalty to the right of the goal. It was saved by Neuer. Sanchez swung his foot at the rebound, but didn’t connect properly but made no mistake steering the ball into the net at the third attempt.
Bayern Munich had an appeal for a penalty in the 31st minute when a cross appeared to hit Hector Bellerin’s hand. Referee Mazic waved away Bayern’s appeals.
Robert Lewandowski fireed over the crossbar just over after Arturo Vidal hooked a Thiago cross back into the penalty area.
Mesut Ozil had a chance to put the Gunners ahead just before the break when he was played in down the left, but his shot went straight at Maneul Neuer.
Arsenal were dealt a big blow in the opening minutes of the second half. Bayern went on to take full advantage with Bayern scoring three goals in ten minutes.
Laurent Koscielny had to be replaced by Gabriel after picking up a hamstring injury when chasing back for the ball with Robert Lewandowski.
And it was the Pole who put the home side back in front in the 53rd minute with a header from Philipp Lahm’s cross.
Bayern then made it two goals in three minutes, when Lewandowski set up Thiago to score the third.
The hosts then made it four, with Thiago’s shot from distance deflecting off Granit Xhaka and into the net.
Thomas Muller scored with a the 5th goal for the home side with almost his first touch. Thiago set him up in the middle of the penalty area and he netted.
So groundhog day for Arsenal again. Another last 16 exit. A second half capitulation. More scrutiny for the manager on team selection and tactics – will he stay or go at the end of the season. Do the players have the heart and desire.
Will anything change!!!
Arsenal: Ospina, Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny (Gabriel), Gibbs, Xhaka, Coquelin (Giroud), Iwobi (Walcott), Ozil, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sanchez.