Emi Martinez the hero as Arsenal beat Bayern Munich in penalty shoot out
Emi Martinez was the hero as Arsenal beat Bayern Munich 3-2 on penalties in the International Champions Cup in Shanghai
Alex Iwobi scored in injury time goal to earn Arsenal a 1-1 draw and to take the match to penalties.
Substitute Iwobi started and finished the move. He rose unmarked to head in superbly from fellow substitute Aaron Ramsey’s cross.
The Gunners had trailed from the ninth minute to a Robert Lewandowski penalty.
Martinez then made saves from Alaba and Bernat in the penalty shootout. Whilst Sanches hit the crossbar. Hummels and Coman converted their penalties for Bayern.
For Arsenal Ramsey, Nacho Monreal and Iwobi converted their penalties, with Mohamed Elneny seeing his effort saved by Bayern substitute keeper Fruchtl.
As expected it was a much tougher test for Arsenal than their two matches in Australia.
They had to dig in against a strong Bayern starting line-up.
Their cause wasn’t helped when an already depleted defence was deprived of the services of Per Mertesacker.
Mertesacker had been named in the starting eleven, but had to withdraw just before kick-off due to illness. He was replaced by Mohamed Elneny.
Bayern started on the front foot and were playing with an intensity that Arsenal found hard to match.
Lewandowski put Bayern in front from the spot in the 9th minute after Ainsley Maitland-Niles was adjudged to have fouled Bernat
Arsenal were indebted to Petr Cech for a string of saves in the first half as Bayern threatened to increase their lead.
The Gunners best chance of the first half fell to Alexandre Lacazette. Played through by an exquisite through ball from Mesut Ozil, Arsenal’s record signing was denied by Bayern’s 36 year-old third choice keeper Starke.
Reiss Nelson replaced Sead Kolasinac just before half-time, with the Bosnian clearly distressed in the sweltering conditions.
Cech continued his fine form, with a save from an Alaba free-kick in the 59th minute.
Both sides made a raft of substitutions in the second half, including Martinez replacing the excellent Cech.
The changes as often happens disrupted the flow of the match, but the youthful Arsenal side that finished the match deserve credit for sticking to their task.
Iwobi stepped up to equalise and to take the match to penalties.
Martinez then took centre stage saving twice to win the penalty shoot out for Arsenal.
So the Gunners have now won all three of their pre season matches ahead of facing Premier League Champions Chelsea on Saturday, at the Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing.
Arsenal: Cech (Martinez), Bielik (Bramall), Elneny, Monreal, Maitland-Niles, Coquelin (Willock), Xhaka (Ramsey), Kolasinac (Nelson), Ozil (Iwobi), Welbeck (Nketiah, Lacazette (Walcott)