Arsenal exited the Champions league after they drew 1-1at the AllianzArena. The result in isolation is praise worthy and admirable but after what happened in the first leg, the result counted for nothing and the Gunners went down battling.
Arsene’s intention was evident from his attacking line up. Podolski was surprisingly handed a start and Alex Chamberlain started in the middle alongside Mikel Arteta. We had only six substitutes as Miyachi who was supposed to be included wasn’t as he was ineligible.
Bastian Schweinsteiger tested Fabianski with a long range effort and Dante was booked after he committed a cynical foul on Chamberlain who had the beating on him.
Bayern as expected enjoyed lion’s share of possession without really ripping Arsenal and credit to Arsenal they were organised and held their own against Bayern’s impressive attack.Javi Martinez’s headed goal from a free kick was rightly ruled out for offside. Podolski was booked in the build up to the freekick.
Arsenal were wasteful in possession and couldn’t string passes together. Cazorla and Ozil lost the ball on numerous occasions , Arteta was off the pace and only Chamberlain was efficient with the ball. The first half ended goalless, Arsenal toothless in attack but resolute at back.
Arsenal made a half time substitution and on came Rosicky for the out of sorts Ozil*. 10 minutes into the second half and Bayern took the lead with Schweinsteiger hitting it home from close range. The ball in from the right could have been defended better and Schweinsteiger was unmarked in the penalty box.
Game over, not yet Podolski rifled it from a tight angle despite protestations from Bayern that he fouled Lahm in the build up. 1-1 and Arsenal were back in it. Bayern’s nerves were tested and Arsenal couldn’t capitalize on Neuer’s poor pass when Giroud played in to Rosicky but it was cut out by a Bayern defender. Cazorla and Arteta spurned chances to pass the ball early when it could have really troubled Bayern.
Gnabry came on for Arteta and Arsenal were running out of time. Fabianski was brave to thwart Mandzukic as he was sizing up to tap it home. Bayern were awarded a penalty after a typical Robben dive and Muller’s effort was saved by Fabianski.
A special mention to Arjen Robben who will fly his country’s flag in Rio de Janeiro 2016. He captivated the Allianz Arena when he did his signature moment five minutes into the second half as he nonchalantly dived onto the ground and rolled as if he was poleaxed. That act of sheer genius earned him a ticket to Brazil.
In the end Arsenal were left to rue what might have happened. It was a tenacious but ultimately futile effort. We can be proud of the team, they didn’t roll over but took the fight to Bayern. We are out of Europe and it could actually help us, we can now just concentrate on the league and the cup. COYG
*Ozil is out for a few weeks with hamstring injury. Ozil out for Spurs, Chelsea, City. Arsenal, eh!
FT: Bayern 1- Arsenal 1
Agg: Bayern 3- Arsenal 1