Bayern Munich 2 – 1 Arsenal
Following a miserable defeat at the hands of Tottenham, Arsenal travelled to Germany to face European giants, Bayern Munich. As the Germans reclined on their three away-goal cushion, Arsenal took a gamble by resting a few key players, looking to prioritise the Premier League. Their gamble almost paid off.
Arsenal began the game focused. A dream start would include a very early goal after a confident, creative build up. And in the third minute, that’s exactly what they got.[quote_right]”As the half time whistle blew, it seemed that both Bayern Munich and Arsenal were content with the scoreline. Munich had comfort, but The Gunners had hope.”[/quote_right]
Aaron Ramsey took the ball down the left flank, passing inside to Rosicky who was lurking on the edge of the box. Rosicky passed the ball to Theo Walcott who pushed the ball into the danger area and slammed the ball across goal. An unmarked Olivier Giroud was waiting for the delivery, and hammered home the finish from close range. It was exactly what Arsenal needed.
Unfortunately, The Gunners failed to build momentum following Giroud’s opener.
Bayern Munich knew they still sat on a comfortable lead, and were dedicated to slowing the tempo of the game down. Kroos & Robben were providing the offensive threat when Munich ventured forward, but for the most part, they were happy to pass the ball at a slow, controlled pace. Meanwhile, Arsenal were getting frustrated.
The first half drew to an end with very little chances for either side. As the half time whistle blew, it seemed that both Bayern Munich and Arsenal were content with the scoreline. Munich had comfort, but The Gunners had hope.
The second half reflected the mood of the first. Bayern were happy to sit back and absorb the occasional attacks thrown at them by Arsenal, and were not too worried about getting forward themselves.
Due to a lot of chasing in the first half, Arsenal were looking fatigued in the middle. Aaron Ramsey & Mikel Arteta in particular were sloppy with their passes and were regularly being caught out of position by the fluidity of Bayern’s offensive movement.
As Munich struggled to run the clock down, Arsenal increased the pressure in their search for the two away goals they so badly needed. Gervinho & Chamberlain were thrown on in place of Walcott & Ramsey in order to speed the process up.[quote_left]”Unfortunately, The Gunners had nothing left in their lockers to see out the comeback. It was valiant, but it simply wasn’t enough.”[/quote_left]
In the eighty-fifth minute, Arsenal’s glimmer of hope was magnified. Chamberlain did well to win a corner, which was swung in by Santi Cazorla. Laurent Koscielny rose highest and nodded the ball into the Bayern goal. Arsenal players rushed to the ball in an attempt to restart the game faster, leading to scuffles inside the goal mouth. Passionate scenes, but it was simply too little, too late.
The closing minutes were dominated by Arsenal’s aggression going forward, matched only by Bayern’s stern defending. Mikel Arteta showed extreme immaturity by giving away foolish fouls in various areas, just when Arsenal needed the game to flow.
In the end, The Gunners had played brilliantly, and had got themselves a deserved two goal lead. Unfortunately, The Gunners had nothing left in their lockers to see out the comeback. It was valiant, but it simply wasn’t enough.
[title]Arsenal Player Ratings[/title]
Excellent shot stopping throughout the game, and did well to hold on to some well struck efforts. Seemed commanding & confident, and managed a clean sheet away to Bayern Munich. Impressive.
Carl worked hard all game, and put in some stellar challenges when they were needed. Linked up well with Walcott on the flank, and did brilliantly to recover his defensive position on numerous occasions.
Per was tested on various occasions both on the ground and in the air, and came out on top every time. His reading of the game was good, and he made a great block against Robben in the closing minutes.
MOTM. Laurent was commanding and aggressive from start to finish. His tackles were hard, headers were assured and his passing was confident. Kept a cool head when under pressure around his own area, and deserved his well taken goal.
Kieran had a quiet game, which is expected given his recent injury. He got forward on occasion and held his own defensively against the likes of Robben & Lahm.
Started the game reasonably well, but gradually diminished. Mikel’s passing became sloppy and he looked visibly tired. His foolish, immature fouls in the closing minutes played right into the hands of Bayern Munich. Not the leadership we were hoping for.
Much like Arteta, Aaron began the game well. His forward run helped set up Giroud’s opener, but he soon returned to his usual poor self. Lazy passing paired with poor defending is never a good combination for a central midfielder.
Unlike Aaron & Mikel, Rosicky started the game terribly. His passing and first touch were both poor and he seemed regularly out of position. However, as the game went on, he gathered himself to produce a decent performance.
Santi was once again played on the left-wing, and did well whenever he was on the ball. His quick feet came in handy many times, and he helped the ailing midfield by tucking inside when necessary. Good corner for Koscielny’s goal.
Isolated for most of the game, but never helped himself by dropping deeper. He made a few good runs off the ball, and did well to assist Olivier Giroud.
Well positioned for his goal, and harassed Dante all night long. Aerially Olivier was useful, but on the floor his first touch was lacking quality. Definitely out of form, but good to see him on the score sheet.
Did brilliantly to turn in a tight space in the box, and managed to poke the ball across goal. However, the Ivorian is not interested in defending whatsoever.
Didn’t have much time on the ball, but did brilliantly to win a corner leading to Koscielny’s goal.
[title]Out With A Bang[/title]
As widely expected, Arsenal are out of the Champions League, and trophyless for yet another season. But at least we went out with a bang, with a well earned victory consisting of two good goals and a solid performance. It may not be everything we want it to be, but the confidence gained from the victory may just make a difference in the Premier League.
Regardless, Arsenal now have to look to the League, and look to it with determination. Thirty point are up for grabs, and We’re going to need every single one of them if we are to hope of finishing fourth. First up, Swansea.
What did you think of the Bayern Munich Vs Arsenal match? Share your views in the comments section below!