Arsenal on verge of Champions League exit

Arsenal’s hopes of progressing to the quarter-finals of the Champions League hang by a thread after losing 3-1 to Bayern Munich at the Emirates Stadium.

Having been rocked by their FA Cup exit to Championship side Blackburn Rovers, the home side started tentatively, standing off their opponents and applying little pressure on the ball.

And it didn’t take long for the Gunners to fall behind as Mueller crossed from the right, finding Kroos in space on the edge of the area and the midfielder controlled a superb strike to give the goalkeeper Arsenal Woijcech Szczesny no chance.

Bayern doubled their lead on 21 minutes when Szczesny saved Daniel Van Buyten’s header but the ball fell to Mueller who stabbed home from two yards.

Arsenal were rocked, creating little and Mandzukic almost made it three just before half-time.

Arsene Wenger’s men needed a fast start to the second half but they were finding Bayern’s defence wall almost impossible to prenetrate.

However, the Gunners’ increased tempo began to ask more questions of the Germans’ famously miserly defence and they got a reward on 55 minutes.

Santi Cazorla’s shot hit Podolski and went harmlessly wide but the referee incorrectly gave a corner and from the resulting set-piece Bayern’s keeper Manuel Neuer found himself in no-man’s-land giving Podolski the straightforward task of nodding home unmarked from five yards.

The former Bayern player went close to grabbing his second when he cut inside on the left before shooting low but a German defender got a boot on it to clear it from danger.

Jupp Heynckes’ side were beginning to creak a little as Arsenal attacked at pace and subsititute Olivier Giroud almost equalised with his first touch but his strike from a Theo Walcott cross was straight at Neuer, allowing him to beat it away to safety.

With just 13 minutes remaining Arsenal’s defensive frailties were once again exposed as Arjen Robben, on as a replacement, fed the overlapping Philipp Lahm whose powerful cross was bundled home by a combination of Bacary Sagna and Mandzukic.

Arsenal kept going but the effort in getting back into the game was telling and Bayern strolled home to a comfortable win and a surely insurmountable lead with the second leg to follow at the Allianz Arena

be sociable, share...