Drawing a Blank: Bayern Munich 1 – 1 Arsenal – Report & Player Ratings

Final Score
Bayern 1 – 1 Arsenal

After well and truly booking Wembley against Everton in the FA Cup, Arsenal travelled to the Allianz arena, where they needed to win by two goals just to force the game into extra-time. It wasn’t going to be an easy night.

The German giants started the game very well, as expected. They were dominating possession, closing down well and containing any threats that came their way.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain though, was on fire. He was beating Bayern players for fun, making runs and showing maturity under pressure..

Arsenal on the other hand, were struggling to mount any meaningful attacks. Possession came and went, and the situation wasn’t improving.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain though, was on fire. He was beating Bayern players for fun, making runs and showing maturity under pressure. He was Arsenal’s best player by far in the first half.

Unfortunately, only Mertesacker and Arteta were the other names worth mentioning, simply because Bayern had so much of the ball. Per won header after header in the box, whilst Arteta was battling in the middle.

Thankfully, The Gunners held out until half time, with the deadlock unbroken. In some way, that was a minor victory going into the second period.

[Most of the second half consisted of] borderline-boring domination from Bayern.

The second half contained much of the same for Arsenal. It was borderline-boring domination from Bayern.

As a result, it wasn’t much of a surprise when they got the first goal in the fifty-fifth minute. Schweinsteiger found space in the box from a Ribery cross, and showed great composure to put it past Fabianski from close range.

Arsenal though, struck back quickly. Just two minutes later, Lukas Podolski dispossessed Lahm on the edge of the box, and absolutely hammered the ball past Nueur. There were questions over whether Podolski had pushed Lahm, but the referee saw nothing wrong, and so the goal stood.

You might have expected the game to open up after those two quick-fire goals, but you would have been wrong. I know I was.

Bayern shut up shop and slowed down the tempo of the game at every opportunity. Arsenal poked around in the final third once or twice, but not with any real purpose.

Arjen Robben performed his second dive of the night in the penalty area, but this time, the referee bought it, and pointed to the spot.

Just minutes from time though, Arjen Robben performed his second dive of the night in the penalty area, but this time, the referee bought it, and pointed to the spot.

Muller stepped up, but Fabianksi saved with his legs. The ball though, span dangerously just an inch from the goal like, teasing everybody in question. Fabianksi raced Muller to the ball – and won, clearing the danger.

The final whistle soon blew, and Arsenal could be proud of their performance in the second leg, but not of the overall score line, which saw them crash out of the Champions League.

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Arsenal Player Ratings

Fabianksi: [7.5/10]

Distribution was a bit hot and cold, but he pulled off a number of good stops throughout the game,and his penalty double-save was absolutely brilliant.

Sagna: [7/10]

Got turned a few times by Ribery, and probably should have done better leading up to the goal, but I couldn’t fault his work ethic. Tried hard right up until the final whistle.

Mertesacker: [8.5/10]

Phenomenal Per-formance. (I’m here all week). But seriously, Per was everywhere tonight. He read the game right down to a tee, intercepting passes, winning headers and clearing crosses.

Koscielny: [7/10]

Wasn’t overly impressed with Laurent tonight. He was slightly off the pace in the opening minutes, and also gave Robben a reason to go down in the dying moments to win a penalty. Had a comfortable night otherwise though.

Vermaelen: [7.5/10]

Confident and composed from our Skipper. It’s great to see Vermaelen playing, and playing so well. He dealt quite well with Robben for the most part, and read the game well.

Arteta: [7.5/10]

Mikel battled hard in the middle, made decent passes and got stuck in.Made one excellent tackle to deny Bayern a chance in the first half, just inside the box. Subbed.

The Ox: [9/10] – MOTM

Superb. Alex got back, got forward, and got in their faces. He was skipping past players with ease, showing great touches, and a despite to push the team forward. Our best player on the pitch. Wilted slightly towards the end, purely because he put in such a gigantic shift. Subbed.

Cazorla: [8/10]

I loved the way Santi worked tonight. I don’t usually like him in this big games, but he really put himself about in the middle. He tracked back, made tackles, passed well and drove the team forward too. Final ball wasn’t always the best though.

Podolski: [7/10]

Had it not been for his Thunderbolt of a goal, Lukas would have received a lower rating from me. Apart from his great finish, he did almost nothing. Poor work ethic, kicked the ball away to get booked, little creativity on the ball, and the rest of it. He really needs to start putting more effort into his game.

Ozil: [6.5/10]

Only got through the first half until he was subbed due to injury. I noticed him stretching his calf/hamstring during the game, and it is indeed his hamstring which is apparently feeling tight. Had almost none of the ball, showed a good touch or two, but that was it. Hopefully he’s fit for Spurs.

Giroud: [6.5/10] 

Isolated for much of the game, Giroud had little to do. However, he got a very good header on target from an Ozil corner in the first half. Poor passing from him in the final minutes though.

Subs:

Rosicky: [6.5/10] 

Had little effect on the game. He passed well and tried his best, but Bayern were simply too strong defensively.

Gnabry: [6.5/10]

Made a good run late on, cut inside well, but blasted his shot well over the bar. Hot prospect.

Flamini: [N/A]

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Drawing a Blank

A draw at the Allianz is no result to scoff at, but it wasn’t enough for Arsenal on the night.

Just like last year, a shoddy first leg hindered the second. Stern defending from Bayern saw Arsenal blocked out for most of the game, and the red card to Szczesney in the first leg now hurts more than ever. What could have been, is now gone.

Still, the performance had many positives, many of which we’ll need for another tough trip away at White Hart Lane.

Let’s be ‘avin ya, Spurs.

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