Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Arsenal 2-2 Bayer Munich: What Were The Key Talking Points As The Gunners Settle For A First-Leg Stalemate In North London?

Tom Dunstan in Editorial, UEFA Champions League 10 Apr 2024

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In what was a pulsating Champions League showdown on Tuesday night, Arsenal eventually settled for a 2-2 stalemate against Bayern Munich in north London.

Getting off to a flying start at the Emirates as the red-hot Bukayo Saka produced a wonderful strike in the opening 12 minuets, the Gunners dominated large spells of the early proceedings.

However, while Bayern Munich might be at the heart of a public domestic crisis, the German giants mounted a dramatic first-half comeback.

With one-time Arsenal starlet Serge Gnabry slotting home just six minutes after Saka’s opener, it was the Gunners’ arch-nemesis who silenced the vocal home support in north London.

Watching former Tottenham talisman Harry Kane convert from the penalty spot just after the half-hour mark, Mikel Arteta’s men found plenty of pressure on their shoulders after returning from the interval.

While Belgium international Leandro Trossard might have dragged Arsenal to a first-leg equaliser late on, the Premier League title chasers will feel that they missed out on the chance to claim a crucial advantage on home soil.

With all eyes now falling on the Allianz next week, a Champions League semi-final spot is firmly hanging in the balance.

In a showdown that was expected to produce plenty of chances, we have taken a look at the key talking points.

Arsenal miss out on the chance to make a first-leg statement

With Bayern continuing to show a string of glaring issues on either side of March’s international break, Arsenal were certainly smelling the chance to make a major first-leg statement on Tuesday night.

However, while Arteta’s young squad might have collected 31 points from just their previous 11 Premier League appearances, they would have been left disappointed here.

With their normally rugged defence breached on two occasions in a single game for the first time since opening the New Year, the Gunners also saw their five-match winning run at the Emirates come to an abrupt end.

Last seen in Champions League action outside of north London suffering a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Porto on February 21st, Arsenal have struggled to find much European stability on foreign soil.

Winning just one of their four Champions League appearances on foreign soil this season, Arsenal’s young squad must show some real mental resolve next week.

Kane marks his north London return with a bang

While Bayern Munich might have endured a public domestic nightmare this season, their new attacking icon has continued on a record-breaking run since arriving at the Allianz last summer.

Completing a blockbuster £100million move from Tottenham, Kane has only further cemented his spot as one of Europe’s ultimate marksmen.

Desperate to come back to the English capital and haunt his former rivals on Tuesday night, the Three Lions’ skipper certainly silenced the vocal Emirates support after cooly converting from the spot just after the half-hour mark.

At the heart of everything positive that Bayern completed here, Kane has now scored 39 goals and added a further 12 assists in his 38 appearances for the German giants this season.

Likewise, recording a further 10 goal contributions in just nine Champions League showdowns this year, the 30-year-old will undoubtably have a leading role to play when Bayern return to Munich next week.

All eyes fall on the Allianz

With both of the European giants failing to collect their own respective first-leg advantages on Tuesday night, all eyes will now fall on the Allianz for what looks set to be a season-defining affair on April 17th.

Although the Gunners might still be fancying their chances of making a heavyweight statement on foreign soil and punching a famous semi-final ticket, Arsenal will be bracing themselves for a major challenge in Munich.

While Bayern might have long since accepted that they will be relinquishing their Bundesliga crown this season, they do hold a fearsome European reputation on home soil.

Signing off their group stage adventure with a routine 3-0 romp against Italian outfit Lazio, Bayern are unbeaten in all of their previous 14 straight Champions League appearances at the Allianz – a run that stems all the way back to April 2021.

With a potential semi-final showdown against either Manchester City or Real Madrid hanging in the balance, we could be set for a nail-biting night of European action next week.

Match Report

Arsenal: Raya, White, Saliva, Gabriel, Kiwior, Rice, Jorginho, Odegaard, Saka, Havertz, Martinelli

Subs: Trossard, Zinchenko, Partey, Jesus

Bayern Munich: Neuer, Kimmich, Dier, de Ligt, Davies, Laimer, Goretzka, Sane, Musiala, Gnabry, Kane

Subs: Coman, Guerreiro

Goals: Arsenal: Saka (12’), Trossard (76’) – Bayern Munich: Gnabry (18’), Kane (32’ P)

Yellow Cards: Arsenal: Partey – Bayern Munich: Davies, Kane

Red Cards: N/A

Referee: Glenn Nyberg

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan

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