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Guardiola: Opening goal key in Arsenal rout

Pep Guardiola hailed an excellent first-half display from Bayern Munich after his team put Arsenal to the sword 5-1 in the Champions League.

Bayern suffered a surprise 2-0 loss at Emirates Stadium in Group F two weeks ago and Guardiola felt the Bundesliga champions made an initially nervy start to the return fixture on Wednesday.

Robert Lewandowski’s 10th-minute goal settled the hosts into an ominous rhythm and Thomas Muller made it 2-0 before the half hour.

Full-back David Alaba added a stunning third and laid on the fourth for substitute Arjen Robben, while Muller rounded off the scoring after Olivier Giroud netted a consolation for Arsenal

“We played a great first half,” said Guardiola as Bayern stand on the brink of a place in the last 16. 

“We lost some easy balls in the first 10 minutes, but we found it easier at 1-0 up and kept getting better with the fans behind us.

“It was hard because it is an opponent who plays good football. We are almost qualified for the next round and that’s what counts.”

The goalscoring feats of Lewandowski and Muller once again captured the imagination, but Guardiola was keen to highlight a superb performance from midfielder Thiago Alcantara.

The former Barcelona man set up the opening goal with a wonderfully flighted pass and continued to torment Arsenal throughout the 90 minutes.

“He’s a big player and personality,” Guardiola added. “He’s very strong in the important games. He still has a lot to learn though.”

Wed 4 Nov, 2015
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