Thursday, April 26, 2018

Champions League: Bayern’s five-star display against Arsenal, AS Roma edge past Leverkusen in a thriller

Bayern vs Arsenal - Image via the Author

Bayern vs Arsenal – Image via the Author

An eventful Champions League night is behind us with plenty of exciting action and a lot of goals at display.

Bayern Munich have put in a fascinating performance against Arsenal, in a game which proved to be the highlight of the Champions League group stage round 4.

The Bavarians held their promise, and fulfilled their revenge for the 2-0 defeat at the Emirates, having secured a comprehensive 5-1 triumph over the helpless Gunners.

Pep Guardiola’s men went full throttle from the off creating a lot of problems for the visitors in the first minutes of the game. The pressure paid off, as Thiago Alcantara launched a beautiful pass towards Lewandowski who beat the offside trap and headed home after only ten minutes.

Arsenal responded instantly, through Mesut Ozil whose effort was called a handball. The goal was disallowed much for the disappointment of the Premier League club.

Highly amusing 15 minutes have been seen at the Allianz Arena in Munich, Robert Lewandowski had a perfect chance to score a brace early in the game, but the Bayern striker wasted a good opportunity from the edge of the box. Petr Cech pulled a brilliant save to deny the fantastic effort.

Just after the half-hour mark, Thomas Muller picked up a ball inside the penalty area, found himself some space just enough to fire a deflected shot which went past Petr Cech, making it 2-0 for Bayern Munich.

It wasn’t the end of the first time excitements, as David Alaba produced a magnificent goal with his precisely placed shot from around 18 meters into the top right corner. There was not much the Arsenal goalkeeper could do, the result at the interval was convincing 3-0 for Bayern.

The German champions have been dominating the proceedings with over 60% possession, and with 10 shots on target in the first half. On the other side, Arsenal failed to send a single shot towards Manuel Neuer’s goal in the first interval.

There was no sign of stopping in the second half as well, as the Bavarians really wanted to make an impression and make amends for the loss in London last time out.

Douglas Costa was definitely one of the most prominent performers tonight. The flamboyant Brazilian was running around the pitch, taking on Arsenal players without any restrain, pulling some world-class moves along the way. Bayern got themselves a proper gem during summer.

After 55 minutes in the game, Arjen Robben replaced Kingsley Coman, and it took him only 40 seconds to get his name up on the scoresheet. He sneaked in the penalty box to pick up a pass from David Alaba and tap it home, making it 4-0.

About ten minutes later, Olivier Giroud saved his team from the complete embarrassment and made it 4-1 with a brilliant over-head shot inside the box. He picked up a superb loft pass from Alexis Sanchez, created a space for himself and fired one behind disappointed Manuel Neuer.

Arjen Robben was eager to make an impression after his long spell on the sidelines and the Dutch winger had a wonderful goalscoring opportunity after 73 minutes. Robben collected a pass inside Peter Cech’s area, steered past the Arsenal goalkeeper but was hesitant enough for Arsenal defenders to catch up on him. Robben raised his hands up in protest, but no penalty kick was awarded.

Last ten minutes of the game were a bit slower than the rest of the match, but Bayern were reluctant to stop and Thomas Muller used his final efforts to make it 5-1 after 89 minutes. The German striker pushed a shot from the edge of the box, placing it into the bottom right corner to round up a perfect performance from himself and his team.

Bayern are now top of the group, with nine points after three games and tied with Olympiakos Piraeus. Arsenal are travelling home with their heads down and elimination from the Europe’s top competitions looming.

AS Roma vs Bayer Leverkusen 3-2

Another interesting game of the night was seen in Rome with AS Roma edging past the German opposition in what has been a thrilling encounter.

The home side had a fantastic opening to the game with Salah bagging home after only two minutes. Edin Dzeko put Roma two up a minute shy off the half-hour mark and the things were going pretty well for the Italian team at the moment.

Bayern Leverkusen had a productive half time team talk as they have returned back on the pitch a different team. A minute after the kick off, Admir Mehmed put one past Sczesny and only five minutes later Javier Chicharito Hernandez levelled the score 2-2 for much of the disappointment of the home fans.

Bayer Leverkusen were forced to end the game with ten players on the pitch as Omar Toprak was punished for rough play inside the penalty area and was sent off with eleven minutes still on the clock.

Miralem Pjanic fired home from the white spot bringing his team a hard-fought triumph against the tough opponents.

AS Roma now have five points next to their name and are occupying the second place in Group E. Barcelona are leading the pack with ten points after four games, while Bayer Leverkusen remain on the third with just one point behind the Italian team.

Other results this evening

Barcelona vs BATE 3-0

Chelsea vs Dynamo Kiev 2-1

Lyon vs Zenit Petersburg 0-2

Maccabi Tel Aviv vs FC Porto 1-3

Olympiakos Piraeus vs Dinamo Zagreb 2-1

Gent vs Valencia 1-0


Milos Markovic

Formerly a Chief Editor at the largest sports site in Serbia, Milos Markovic is an avid football writer who contributes to a variety of online football magazines - most prominently and His feature articles, editorials, interviews and match analyses have provided informed opinion and views, helping the football aficionados keep up to date on relevant events in world football.



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