Arsenal 1-5 Bayern Munich
7th, March 2017
Emirates Stadium – UEFA Champions League
In a match that was perhaps overshadowed by events that took place off the field, Arsenal we’re tasked with almost impossible mission of overturning a 4 goal deficit against the Germany giants, Bayern Munich. A task in which they monumentally failed to deliver, losing on the night 5-1 and 10-2 on aggregate.
In truth, the game started in tentative fashion but with 19 minutes on the clock, Theo Walcott smashed home an opening goal for Arsene Wenger’s men- a strike from an acute angle that left Manuel Neuer stranded. The goal seemed to spark life into Arsenal who began piling on the pressure and in the process, they had a strong penalty appeal turned away. Arsenal were giving it their all but the sides went into half time with the scoreline 1-0 on the night and 2-5 on aggregate.
The second half saw much of the same, with Arsenal pushing for goals but Bayern defending resolutely and hitting them well on the counter. Olivier Giroud came ever so close to finding the net with a looping header in the opening few moments, a chance that had the potential to make the tie alot more interesting but instead, it was Munich that found the second goal of the game and the goal to effectively end the tie. Robert Lewandowski slotted home from the spot after Laurent Koscielny saw red for a foul inside the penalty area. A decision deemed incredibly harsh, especially with the referee original brandishing a yellow.
A strange and unusual atmosphere rang around the Emirates after the penalty was scored- with most fans abandoning the idea of the fairy tale comeback that they’d wanted. Munich began dominating it wasn’t too long before they managed to find their second of the night and seventh on aggregate. Arjen Robben’s persistence paid off and the Dutchman struck low past David Ospina.
Unfortunately for the 10 men of Arsenal, their night was only about to get worse- Douglas Costa came off the bench to fire past Ospina before Arturo Vidal scored a similar goal just moments later. Two sensational finishes, but finishes that may not get the recognition they deserve with the tie well and truly over prior to them both. Vidal also found the net late on to grab his second of the night and Bayern’s fifth, Munich were showing no mercy towards their opponents who began flooding out of the Emirates.
It’s fair to say that after tonight’t showing, the #WengerOut debate will rage on with Arsene Wenger suffering some of the worst months of his career, highlighted greatly by this Champions League embarrassment.