It was a night when nothing went right for the Gunners. The hosts started off brightly not allowing the Bavarians to settle and played at a high tempo. The major surprise in the Arsenal starting line up was the inclusion of Yaya Sanogo in the place of top scorer Olivier Giroud, who may have been dropped for his off the field issues Arsenal had an early chance when Chamberlain broke through and Szczesny palmed a Toni Kroos effort that seemed destined for the top corner.
Then came the moment which many an Arsenal fan would look with exasperation. Mesut Ozil was fouled in the box by Boateng,the ref awarded the penalty. The initial pressure had paid off or atleast it seemed so. Ozil took a short run tentatively and hit it but the Bayern Goalkeeper Neuer saved.
The German looked to the heavens with grief, this was his second penalty miss for the Gunners and it couldn’t have come at a worst time. Arsenal fans were aghast. The atmosphere became subdued understandably so.
In the meantime Monreal came on for the injured Gibbs. Arsenal’s night went from bad to worse when Robben was tripped by Szczesny in the box penalty -fair, red card -harsh, Arsenal down to ten against Bayern, the defending champions and on came Fabianski for the unlucky Cazorla who had to be substituted. Alaba was the man assigned to take the penalty but he slotted it wide, the Emirates roared, justice prevailed.
The second half started with Bayern making a change, on came Rafinha for the out of sorts Boateng. Arsenal defended deep inside their box and they did that valiantly until Kroos struck a rasping curler that rifled into the top corner. Fabianski had no chance.
The match settled into a practise session for the Germans, pinging the ball around Arsenal. Robben in particular stayed wide and stretched the pitch. Arsenal could hardly get out of their own box and they were absolutely knackered.
Tomas Rosicky came on for the Ox and couldn’t really influence the game. In the dying minutes came the sucker punch when substitute Muller headed home a Phillip Lahm cross. Mertesacker had to go with Pizzaro and Muller moved into the vacant spot, Flamini could have done better but its hard to fault him after the shift he had to put in. At 2-0, the tie is effectively over.
The match will be remembered with regrets by the Arsenal players and fans alike. Arsenal once again undone in the first leg but the Gunners can take heart from the way they started the match. Also last season Wenger’s side did win at Munich the same scoreline this time around would take the game into extra time. I would grab a penalty shoot out win any day of the week and twice on Sunday.
Yesterday’s game was so much different to the one a year ago, we were on par with them with 11 men whereas last time we lost before a ball was kicked.
I still believe we can go through, when a depleted and a Spurs chasing Arsenal can go and win at Munich Why can’t a treble chasing Arsenal do so. Believe. COYG
FT :ARSENAL 0- BAYERN MUNICH 2