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UEFA Champions League
20 February 2013
• Emirates Stadium, London
Referee: S. Moen
• Attendance: 59974
L. Podolski 55'
T. Kroos 7'
T. Müller 21'
M. Mandžukić 77'
It promised to be a special night in the Champions League but Arsenal needed to show up for the occasion to live up to it's promise. In the end we saw the attacking qualities of Bayern Munich and the defensive weaknesses of Arsenal. Stay with Goal.com for all the reaction and fall out from all of tonight's action. I've been Husmukh Kerai, good night folks!
Not quite a chorus of boos at full-time as Arsenal showed glimpses of hope in the second half. The German visitors though showed all their class by ruthlessly dispatching the chances which they effeciently created. Arsenal had a big chance missed by Olivier Giroud at 1-2, what might have been. Arsenal have a mountain to climb in southern Germany in two weeks.
FULLL-TIME: Arsenal 1-3 Bayern Munich
90' + 3'
Robben lifts a cute pass into the path of Muller but Arsenal manage to block the German's low cross into the box. Would have been cruel that.
90' + 2'
Vermaelen looks for the free kick with a theatrical dive on the edge of the box but the referee is having none of it. Arjen Robben then drives Bayern forward before Gomez earns a corner kick. Bayern seeing this one out.
90' + 1'
Tom Doyle reports from the Emirates: "Some Arsenal fans are beginning to filter out with two minutes left on the clock while others try to strike up more chants for their side - it reinforces the sense that Arsenal are a club caught in a state of flux."
Yellow Card Philipp Lahm
Arteta fires the free kick towards the near post but a Bayern defender is there to head clear. Sagna drives an ambitous effort from range into the stands from the clearance.
Arsenal are huffing and puffing but don't have quite enough to blow down the Bavarians' defence. They do though have a free kick on the edge of the box...
Arsenal pass and probe without any real conviction before Vermaelen eventually swings a ball in from a deep position which Neuer easily catches at his back post.
Tom Doyle reports from the Emirates Stadium: " Bayern are working hard to close this one out - EVEN Arjen Robben of all people is sprinting back to do his defensive duties. When that happens, they are a very, very difficult side to beat."
CHANCE Could be four for Bayern as Mario Gomez has shot saved by Szczesny but the Pole can only parry the effort. The Bayern striker, though, wastefully blazes the rebound over the bar.
Arsenal enjoy a period of possession, but again, it's all in front of two banks of Bayern players. This is an impressive away performance from the Bundesliga side.
Assist Philipp Lahm
Goal Mario Mandzukic
GOAL! Bayern's two-goal lead is restored! Phillip Lahm makes an overlapping run which Robben spots, the German then crosses low for Mandzukic and despite the Croatian's untidy finish the ball cruelly spins intowards the net.
Cazorla and Koscielny combine down the left flank but the Spaniard back-heel to play the Frenchman through is cut out by Lahm.
It's all gone a bit quiet now as Bayern enjoy some possession in the Arsenal half. Luis Gustavo has an effort under pressure from Giroud and Arsenal regain the ball.
WHAT A CHANCE! Theo Walcott plays a low cross into the box which Oliver Giroud gets on the end of but his swinging leg can only direct the ball directly at Manuel Neuer. Massive, massive chance, missed.
Bastian Schweinsteiger's earlier yellow mean he is out of the second leg at the Allian Arena.
CHANCES! First Jack Wilshere almost drives past the Bayern defence with a powerful run but his final touch past Dante is too heavy. Moments later Podolski ghosted past Phillip Lahm but had his right-footed shot from inside the box blocked. Arsenal knocking on the door now!
Schweinsteiger takes the set-peice but gets too much height on his effort. Arsenal have Giroud and Rosicky readied to come on.
Yellow Card Aaron Ramsey
Aaron Ramsey brings down Muller about 30 yards from goal. He becomes Arsenal's fifth player to see yellow this evening. Schweinsteiger stands over the free-kick...
Yellow Card Lukas Podolski
What a let off for Arsenal. Bayern have men over on a counterattack and Arsenal look in real danger, but Robben strays carelessly offside when he recieves Muller's pass to let the Gunners off the hook. Warning sign for Arsene Wenger's men.
Arsenal pass and probe in the Bayern half but the move eventually breaks down has Podolski tries to return Vermaelen's pass back to the Belgian.
Bayern have a free kick just outside the box on the left-hand side but Kroos' free kick is hit rather tamely but the German's effort from open play moments later forces Szczesny into a fine save. Arjen Robben looks ready to come on.
Arsenal fans hold their breath as Jack Wilshere stays down after a challenge with Dante. The Englishman gets up and looks good to continue, Arsenal desperately need him.
Just a reminder that Bayern Munich are still dangerous. Kroos and Ribery exchange a neat series of passes before the Frenchman ambitously drives at goal from range. High and wide.
Yellow Card Thomas Müller
Arsenal are pressing for the equaliser! Theo Walcott whips in a right-footed free kick from near the touchline about 40 yards from goal which Neuer can only punch but Bayern manage to clear their lines. Arsenal are in this tie.
Goal Lukas Podolski
GOAL! A German finds the net... but it's Lukas Podolski for Arsenal! Massive stroke of luck as Cazorla's initial shot came off Podolski, but the referee awarded the corner and Arsenal made it count. Arteta's cross bounced before making it all the way to Podolski who simply nodded into an empty net. Game on!
Assist Jack Wilshere
Sagna pokes the ball out to Walcott but the Englishman can't find his way past the resolute Alaba. Arsenal are now enjoying some possession but it's all in front of the Germans, no penetration from the hosts as of yet.
Bayern are prepared to suck the life out of the game as they pass the ball all the way back to Neuer before filing everybody back in their positions behind the ball. This is going to be a tough ask for Arsene Wenger's side.
Bayern are neat and effecient in their attacking play and Arsenal have little answer for it. Ribery is a tad to casual in the box and allows Vermaelen to win the ball back for the Gunners.
This second half is already looking more open than the first as Arsenal know they have to throw the kitchen sink at the Germans.
A bit of momentum for Arsenal as Jack Wilshere drives the Gunners forward but they can't quite find the right ball in the final third to unlock the visitor's defence.
Ribery steps past Sagna and floats an inviting ball in towards Mandzukic which Arsenal only just manage to deal with. Bayern Munich have picked up exactly where they left off in the first half.
Mandzukic carries the ball towards the byline but Koscielny comes across to concede the corner. Kroos' delivery from the resulting corner is well defended by Arsenal.
The players are out, Bayern Munich take the kick-off and the second half is underway.
Is there any way back for Arsenal after that? What a showing from the Bavarian Giants, they virtually have the tie wrapped up inside 45 minutes with two ruthlessly dispatched first-half goals. Arsene Wenger will have a few choice words for his players at the break, they have another 45 minutes to salvage this tie.
HALF-TIME: Arsenal 0-2 Bayern Munich
45' + 2'
Boos ring out at the Emirates stadium as both sides leave the pitch for half-time.
CHANCE! Arsenal should be thankful as Mario Mandzukic directs his header from Muller's cross inches wide of Szczesny's near post.
Controversy as Jack Wilshere goes down under a challenge from Van Buyten on the edge of the area but the referee waves play on.
Tom Doyle reports from the Emirates: "Arsenal are getting themselves into some promising areas but look devoid of an end product. It looks like they need the physicality of Olivier Giroud in the centre to give the Bayern centre-backs a problem, as Walcott is playing too deep which gives the midfielders a chance to regroup and crowd out the Gunners."
Arsenal offer their fans some hope as they keep possession in the Bayern half well before crossing twice into the both, without any success. Vermaelen eventually loses the ball but Muller's cross field pass is overhit and the Gunners survive the counterattack.
There is an air of resignation at the Emirates both in the stands and by the looks of it on the pitch too. Bayern look like they will see this out for a two-goal half-time lead.
More from Tom Doyle at the Emirates: "The home fans are finally rewarded and cheer in delight - yes, a Bayern player has finally been booked, and Muller is the recipient. It says something about the game so far that the midfielder's caution has got the biggest response of the night from the Gunners' crowd."
Half chance for Arsenal as Sagna picks the pocket of Alaba after he slips and find Walcott in the box. The forward made space for a left-footed shot but it was again blocked by the frame of Van Buyten.
Yellow Card Bastian Schweinsteiger
CHANCE! Arsenal float a free kick into the area and the ball falls to Mertesacker in the box. The big German hits his volley well but a combination of Van Buyten and Kroos block the shot to keep the Gunners out.
Dante goes down clutching his leg as he challenges Walcott but the Brazilian is the one penalised for the late challenge.
Tom Doyle reports from the Emirates: "It's turning nasty in the stands as well as the pitch. Cazorla and Sagna both get yellows for fierce challenges, and the crowd bawl at the referee in frustration. Arsene Wenger's not out in his technical area yet - presumably he's hiding."
It gets worse for Santi Cazorla as he misplaces another pass just as Arsenal begin to build some momentum. The little Spaniard is looking way off his usual high standard.
A rare forray forward trickles out hopelessly as Walcott injects some life into a move with a quick turn of pace, he then finds Cazorla, only for the Spaniard to prod a careless pass back in his direction.
Now Arteta loses his head and gets himself in the referee's book for a foul on Mandzukic. This is slipping away from the Gunners.
Yellow Card Mikel Arteta
Frustration is beginning to show among the Arsenal players as their discipline goes out of the window. Jack Wilshere makes a poor challenge in the Bayern half before Sagna is booked for a late one on Kroos.
Yellow Card Bacary Sagna
Goal Thomas Müller
GOAL! It gets worse for Arsenal! Muller pounces on some questionable defending from the hosts to double the visitor's lead. A corner is swung into the area and Van Buyten's goal-bound header is only parried by Szczesny as far as the German forward who bundles the ball over the line. Is there anyway back for Arsenal?
This is ominous stuff from the Germans, they are pulling Arsenal apart at the moment. Frank Ribery finds Phillip Lahm with a superb ball across the pitch but Vermaelen blocks the right-back's cross.
Javi Martinez makes a surge forward down the right-hand side and manages to beat Vermaelen and find a cross into the area, but Koscielny is there ahead of Mandzukic to clear the danger for Arsenal.
Jack Wilshere drifts out wide leaving a pocket of space in behind him which Santi Cazorla quickly fills, unfortunately the Spaniard can't collect his team-mate's fizzing pass as he makes his way into the box.
Yellow Card Thomas Vermaelen
Bastian Schweinsteiger hits the free kick right-footed but it hits a Bayern player in the wall and Arsenal can regroup with a goal kick.
Szczesny wastefully blasts a goal kick into touch and Bayern Munich resume control of the game. The Germans patiently work the ball for a short period before a frustrated Vermaelen takes out Javi Martinez 20 yards from goal. Free kick...
Theo Walcott carries the ball from the midfield into attack with the fine run before laying the ball out wide for Sagna, but Bayern Munich regrouped impressively to snuff out the Gunners' forward momentum.
More nervous moments for the Gunners as the visitors continue to press forward. The Germans waste to opportunities from set-peices but are pouncing on the panic in the Arsenal defence early on here.
Goal Toni Kroos
Assist Thomas Müller
Bacary Sagna releases Theo Walcott down the right flank but the Englishman's forced to cross without any real options in the box. Promising signs early on for the Gunners.
Tom Doyle reports from the Emirates: "The home crowd is ferocious from the off - there's no doubt they are 100 per cent behind their side tonight, regardless of recent form. Santi Cazorla nips down the line after being released by Jack Wilshere but his deflected rolls into Manuel Neuer's arms."
It almost opened up for Arsenal! Jack Wilshere found a clever ball out to Santi Cazorla on the wing but his cross took a deflection off Dante on it's way into Neuer's arms.
Decent start by Arsenal, they keep possession well before Podolski earns a free kick off Javi Martinez. The Gunners work the set-peice short and eventually lost the momentum in their attack.
Arsenal take the kick-off and we are underway!
The Champions League anthem blares out at the Emirates Stadium.
Right, the teams are in the tunnel and we are moments away from kick-off...
The other match taking place in the Champions League tonight is Porto v Malaga, you can keep up with all the action from the Dragao in our Live Match Centre, just select LIVE from the homepage menu.
Only ten minutes to go until the big kick-off, send in your match predictions to @GoalUK and you might even get a mention on the LIVE blog hosted by Ewan Roberts.
Goal.com's man at the Emirates, Tom Doyle, reports: "The Emirates is starting to fill up and some of the home fans have been chanting Santi Cazorla's name. You've got to feel that if the home side are to come through this one unscathed, the diminutive Spaniard will have to turn on the magic."
Here's one to help the Arsenal fans out there believe. Bayern Munich have lost six of their last eight away games in the Champions League round of 16.
Heres some pre-match stats (via @OptaJoe) for you to chew on. Bayern Munich striker Mario Mandzukic has scored more headed goals than any other player in the top five European Leagues in 2012-13.
Meanwhile, Mario Mandzukic leads the line for the vistors with Arjen Robben and Mario Gomez both left on the bench. Daniel van Buyten partners Dante in defence with Javi Martinez preferred to Luis Gustavo alongside Bastian Schweinsteiger in central midfield.
Theo Walcott and Santi Cazorla return to the starting line-up for Arsenal, with Lukas Podolski completing the Gunners' front three. Olivier Giroud drops to the bench, while Aaron Ramsey is preferred to Abou Diaby along side the returning Jack Wilshere in midfield. Thomas Vermaelen shifts to left-back with Keiran Gibbs and Nacho Monreal both unavailable.
Bayern Munich: Neuer; Lahm, Van Buyten, Dante, Alaba; Schweinsteiger, Martinez, Kroos, Muller, Ribery; Mandzukic. Subs: Starke, Robben, Shaqiri, Rafinha, Luiz Gustavo, Gomez, Tymoshchuk.
Arsenal: Szczesny; Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Vermaelen; Arteta, Ramsey; Cazorla, Wilshere, Podolski; Walcott. Subs: Mannone, Diaby, Rosicky, Giroud, Ox-Chamberlain, Coquelin, Jenkinson.
Team news to follow...
Arsenal face an in-form Bayern Munich side as they hope to salvage their season and end an 8 year wait for a trophy. Arsene Wenger was visibly agitated in his pre-match press conference, he knows full well that this could a season defining evening.
Good evening ladies and gentlemen! Welcome to Goal.com's play-by-play coverage of Arsenal v Bayern Munich from the Emirates Stadium LIVE!
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