It started with hopes that Arsenal would be able to execute the biggest comeback in Champions League history, but it ended up being the biggest-ever defeat at the Emirates for Arsenal, as they suffered another humiliating 5-1 defeat at the hands of Bayern.
Arsene Wenger will be under great pressure tonight as the Bavarians added fuel to a burning fire in London.
Read our in-depth match report:
Team News & Form Guide
Things went from bad to worse for Arsenal following the 5-1 embarrassment in Munich, as Gunners succumbed to a 3-1 defeat at Liverpool which only piled pressure on Arsene Wenger’s misery of late.
The Gunners boss was widely criticised for his team selection against the Reds, but decided to reinstall both Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott into the starting line-up on against Bayern Munich.
The Bavarians have continued their impressive form with eleven goals scored and none conceded in last three games to head over to London in excellent spirits.
Jerome Boateng and Philipp Lahm were the two unavailable players for Carlo Ancelotti, who fielded his strongest side against the North London side as talisman Douglas Costa started from the bench following a knock in the previous match.
Arsenal are perceived as a team with great character and they were on path to confirm it once again after the first 45 minutes of the game against Bayern Munich. Faced with a great deal of public pressure and widespread criticism, the Gunners responded with an inspired performance.
With Alexis Sanchez back in the fold after reported bust-up with manager Wenger and claims he had become ‘unmanageable’, Arsenal went head in straight from the off.
It took them 14 minutes however to create their first chance in the game with Giroud’s deflected header following a set piece which went inches wide of the post.
And it took Arsenal another six minutes to finally grab the much-needed break.
They were the better team halfway through the first half and go their prize when Theo Walcott moved past a couple of defenders to lash a thumping effort into the roof of Neuer’s net.
England winger was the most agile player for Arsenal during the first 45 minutes and the subject of controversy in the penalty box, when an apparent foul was missed by the referee. Walcott was not discouraged to continue with his advances and had a great chance to double the lead when he hit the side netting as he attempted to replicate the first goal in the game.
All of Arsenal’s effort came close to getting undone in the closing stages of the first half when Arjen Robben weaved through the Arsenal players to send a clipped ball to Robert Lewandoski inside the penalty box, but the Pole’s hook on the first-time volley went wide from some 12 yards.
Arsenal headed down the tunnel at half-time a much better side than Bayern Munich, aware that the Bavarians are not to be underestimated at any point.
The character we spoke about earlier was put to test in the second half which started the worst possible way for Arsenal.
Innate resilience never let Bayern Munich slow down and pull the breaks, so Carlo Ancelotti’s men kicked off the second half on the high and forced Arsenal to make a deadly mistake less than ten minutes after the interval. Laurent Koscielny was reckless to shove Lewandowski in the penalty area and cost his team the penalty kick, but things went from bad to worse in seconds for the Arsenal defender who was shown yellow and then red after confronting the ref to challenge his decision on the penalty kick.
A pivotal decision from the ref was perhaps too harsh on Arsenal defender, but it changed the game completely.
The Gunners dropped back having conceded from the penalty spot courtesy of Lewandowski, with Bayern Munich dominating the game to the fullest until the end. Strike after strike from awaken Bavarians who went for the kill at the Emirates.
David Opsina has been put to a stern test on several occasions before he capitulated once again when Arjen Robben made it 2-1 for Bayern. It was Lewandowski who produced a neat flick toward the Dutchman, who had no problems converting past Opsina from some 10 yards out.
Bayern Munich were playing and enjoying themselves, trying to completely embarrass Arsenal and they started doing it it after 75 minutes when Robert Lewandoski got on the end of a brilliant team play from Bayern Munich players, but ended up being unlucky to see his strike hit the post.
As we said, embarrass they did Arsenal as Bayern Munich scored another three goals in the matter of minutes to make it 5-1 and 10-2 on aggregate in another disappointing Champions League elimination for Arsenal.
Douglas Costa first hit the woodwork following his introduction, but his lively performance yielded result two minutes later as the Brazilian switched the ball to his left foot to unleash a precise shot into the bottom corner from some 20 yards out in what has been a beautiful goal.
And as Arsenal fans prayed for this game to end as soon as possible, there comes Arturo Vidal with a late brace to replicate the score from Munich and send Arsenal cashing out of the Champions League on the back on yet another 5-1 defeat.
We can’t begin to imagine how Arsene Wenger must be feeling now…
- Bayern Munich finished the match with 57% possession to Arsenal’s 43%
- Bavarians made 16 goal attempts to Arsenal’s 9
- Gunners conceded 10 goals at the hands of Arsenal in two games
- London club crash out of the UCL Last-16 for the 6th year in a row
- It’s 3 defeat in 4 last games for Arsenal now
ARSENAL: Ospina 6.5 – Bellerin 5.5, Mustafi 5, Koscielny 4, Monreal 5 – Oxlade-Chamberlain 5.5, Xhaka 5, Ramsey 5 (Coquelin 5) – Walcott 6.5, Giroud 5.5 (Ozil 5), Sanchez 6 (Perez 5)
Unused subs: Cech, Gibbs, Gabriel.
BAYERN MUNICH: Neuer 6.5 – Rafinha 6.5, Martinez 7, Hummels 7, Alaba 7 – Vidal 8, Alonso 7 – Robben 7.5 (Costa 7), Alcantara 7 (Sanches 6.5), Ribery 7 (Kimmich 6.5) – Lewandowski 7.5
Unused subs: Bernat, Coman, Muller, Ulreich.
REFEREE: Anastasios Sidiropoulos
Other result this evening
Napoli 1-3 Real Madrid
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