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UEFA Champions League
20 February 2014
• Emirates Stadium, London
Referee: N. Rizzoli
• Attendance: 59911
T. Kroos 54'
T. Müller 88'
That's all we have time for from the Emirates, as Arsenal lost 2-0 to the imperious steamroller of Bayern Munich, with Guardiola at the helm. Relentless and precise, Wenger will have to dream up quite a strategy to compete in the reverse fixture. I've been Simon Harrison, and I hope to see you all again next time.
Kroos set Bayern on their way, scoring exactly a year after his last goal against Arsenal in the Champions League, as the Bundesliga leaders were simply too good for the hosts, with the numerical difference helping them out too. A red card for Szczesny changed the game following a positive start from the Gunners, but playing with ten men against Die Roten is never an enviable task.
FULL TIME! Bayern win the first leg comfortably, with a 2-0 scoreline to take back to Munich. Goals from Kroos and Muller give Guardiola's side the advantage, despite two missed penalties in the first half. Arsenal were with ten men, looked to have earned a respectable one-goal defeat, but a late goal from Muller has put this tie firmly in German control.
90' + 1'
POST! KROOS HITS THE UPRIGHT! It's a low effort, sweeping a measured strike onto the foot of the post, but Fabianski might have had it covered! He's been imperious for Bayern today, retaining possession excellently, displaying a phenomenal range of passing too.
GOTZE! Almost a third for Bayern! It takes a slight deflection on its way over the bar, and the Bayern fans behind the goal thought that it was in! Another good would have ended this as a contest, and Arsenal still have two minutes of stoppage time to navigate.
PIZARRO! The Peruvian substitute breaks into the area, making his way to the byeline, before being penalised for sliding into Fabianski. That second goal could be the death sentence for Arsenal in this competition, 1-0 would have been a reasonable result to take to Germany.
Assist Philipp Lahm
Goal Thomas Müller
GOOOOOOOAL! THOMAS MULLER FINDS THE SECOND GOAL TO MAKE IT 2-0! The Gunners concede again, and Guardiola is ecstatic! A firm header from the Germany international steers Lahm's cross into the bottom right hand corner, following a great run from Pizarro to open up the space.
Arsenal continue to soak up the pressure, forcing Bayern players back towards their own goal, before Koscielny breaks forward yet again. The central defender is often the Arsenal player furthest forward once the hosts have possession, and the crowd sound their appreciation. He'll be out of position should Bayern win the ball back, however.
Yellow Card Tomas Rosicky
Five minutes left, and should the scoreline stay the same, Arsenal can consider tonight as a job well done. They've held on throughout the entirety of this second half, and to head into the next game with merely one away goal to contend with is a reasonable position to be in.
Sanogo manages to briefly win the ball in the Bayern half, but the young Frenchman miscontrols, allowing for Alaba to pass the ball back to his goalkeeper. Rosicky hares after it, applying pressure, but Neuer is composed enough to play a sweeping pass out to Gotze.
ROBBEN! Excellent defending from Koscielny, following some great dribbling from the Dutchman. He dances around a challenge, before firing a low cross towards Pizarro, but Koscielny steps in well to clear behind for a corner, which comes to nothing.
Fabianski is forced into a comfortable save, following a looping shot which makes its way into his arms, after the Polish keeper is able to watch it all of the way into his gloves. Bayern are on top in the dying stages, and Guardiola isn't prepared to take a seat on the bench, he's continually barking out instructions.
Just over ten minutes left on the clock, and Guardiola is looking increasingly more agitated, he knows that Bayern can kill this Champions League tie off with another goal tonight. Pizarro is thrown on, despite Mandzukic's replacement not too long ago, as the Bavarians look to double their advantage.
Another fantastic run from Robben, who outpaces the lacklustre Ozil with ease, but the Dutchman runs the ball out of play, inside of providing a cross from the byeline. He's been immeasurably better since moving to the right hand side, he's been a thorn in Arsenal's left.
PENALTY SHOUT! Muller is slipped in behind Koscielny, before cleverly pivoting, and looked to be caught by the trailing leg of the Frenchman! Robben throws his arms in the air, but the referee isn't interested. It was a clumsy challenge, there was definite contact, but he was definitely helped by Muller not making too much of the tackle.
GOTZE! Mertesacker gets lucky, as Gotze's header deflects off the German defender, rebounding behind for a goal kick. Bayern take the set piece short, appearing happy to keep the ball, before Robben curls a horrendous back post cross out of play. Guardiola isn't too pleased.
Bayern are relentless, keeping the ball moving constantly, switched from flank to flank to try and sap as much energy out of this Arsenal side as they can. Being constantly shuffled about, it's only a matter of time until the Gunners either leave a gap, or don't have the legs to try and break when they do receive possession.
ROBBEN! The Dutchman cuts inside onto his left foot yet again, leaving Monreal for dead, and curls an effort narrowly wide of the far post! Arsenal continue to sit deep, staying dense and hoping to prevent Bayern from playing through them.
Bayern are in total control, pushing Arsenal back into their own penalty area, and monopolising possession entirely. Damage limitation for Arsenal, who are set on trying to stay in this tie before the visit to the dreaded Allianz Arena. Mesut Ozil isn't looking particularly motivated on the left hand side of midfield, but Rosicky is warming up.
MULLER! The Germany international makes a great run, and is almost found by another great delivery by Rafinha, who has looked excellent since coming on. Muller replaced Mandzukic, with the substitute offering an aerial presence against Mertesacker in the penalty area, aswell as the cool head required for penalties.
GOTZE! Rafinha advances down the right, before being fed a short pass by Robben. He whips in a cross, slightly behind Gotze, who can only direct his header way wide of the near post. That was half a chance for Bayern, but the delivery was wide of the mark, leaving Gotze with plenty to do.
ROBBEN! Excellent run in behind Koscielny from the Dutchman, who tries to direct a lofted through ball square across goal, to the waiting Mandzukic! Fabianski is alive to the danger, and palms the ball away from its intended target, pouncing on it at the second attempt.
Arsenal's two banks of four are pressed into a space about the size of the 18-yard box. They're being pulled around by this Bayern outfit, who are gradually chipping away at the Premier League side. It's going to be a long last half an hour for Wenger's men, and Thomas Muller is now being readied on the visiting bench.
Arsenal have narrowly over half an hour remaining to weather the storm, but the Gunners look incapable of resisting the Bundesliga leaders. They've moved the ball brilliantly in the second half, with Rafinha getting great joy down the right hand side, pulling Monreal out of position constantly.
He managed it a year ago, and he's managed it again tonight, with Kroos putting Bayern in a very strong position if this result stays the same. Arsenal are struggling with ten men, with Ozil looking extremely uninspiring on the left side of midfield. Monreal looks lost.
A difficult task has been made even harder now, following the exquisite finish from Kroos, leaving Wenger with plenty to think about. Sanogo is booked for a foul on Neuer, who the Arsenal manager believed dived to get the youngster booked. Robben gives the French coach a wry smile.
Yellow Card Yaya Sanogo
Assist Philipp Lahm
Goal Toni Kroos
WHAT A GOOOOOOAL! KROOS SCORES FOR BAYERN! He only needs one touch, and he curls the ball into the top corner, leaving Fabianski with no chance! Lahm cuts it inside, before Kroos steers the pass beyond the Arsenal keeper! Bayern lead 1-0!
ROBBEN! The Dutchman cuts inside onto his left foot from the right hand side, before attempting to curl an effort into the far corner! Fabianski predicts what the former Chelsea man is going to do, and makes a comfortable save, holding onto the ball at the first attempt.
Rafinha manages to break down the right hand side once again, with Flamini having to do real work to ensure that Ozil doesn't leave Monreal entirely exposed. The French midfielder is having to work hard in the middle of midfield, to ensure that the Gunners don't fall apart at the seams.
KOSCIELNY! What a chance for Arsenal! He bursts into the opposition half, and escapes the clutches of Martinez, before his eventual shot from just inside the area is collected easily at the near post by Neuer!
RAFINHA! The Brazilian right-back breaks forward, after being allowed to break behind the Arsenal defence by Ozil. Fortunately for Arsenal, the substitute can't angle his volley towards goal, and the home side have a goal kick. Wilshere berates Ozil for his lack of defensive effort.
Half chance for Arsenal! The hosts break with Oxlade-Chamberlain, but his eventual ball in behind Dante is too heavy for Sanogo to meet. The young Frenchman hasn't been given the best service, and we could see him replaced in the second half in favour of a striker which the ball can stick to better.
KROOS! The German midfielder fires directly at Fabianski, after a poor clearance from Monreal! A great run from Alaba preceded the opportunity, as the Austrian full-back played a cross along the corridor of uncertainty, but Thiago couldn't meet it.
A reshuffle for Bayern in the second half, as Javi Martinez slots into centre-half, a position which he is comfortable in, from his time at Athletic Bilbao. Philipp Lahm moves into midfield, with Rafinha coming on to take up the right-back position. Jerome Boateng is sacrificed, perhaps due to his yellow card.
MANDZUKIC! Half chance for the Croatian, who is robbed by Flamini as he attempts to swivel in the box and get a shot away! The Bayern striker hasn't quite had things all his own way in this game, with the Arsenal defence keeping firm tabs on him.
We're back underway for the second half, and Arsenal have quite a task ahead of them! The home side have already been forced into two changes, with Monreal and Fabianski coming on for Gibbs and Cazorla, meaning that Bayern's style of football can sap Wenger's side of energy, with the French coach unable to replenish it with fresh legs.
That's the first half over with, and Arsenal will be pleased to have kept the score at a goalless 0-0. Be sure to stay with us for the second half, as the Gunners try to weather the Bavarian storm, to live to fight another day at the Allianz Arena in the reverse fixture.
Bayern have enjoyed themselves down the right flank, with Gotze and Lahm combining well throughout, throwing some useful balls in towards Mandzukic. Thus far, the Croatian has been handled well by the likes of Sagna and Mertesacker, but as the game begins to get stretched, the former Wolfsburg striker might find a few more gaps.
Arsenal started the half brightly, looking to break at pace whenever possible, with Oxlade-Chamberlain in particular causing some problems. Yaya Sanogo has been relatively isolated in attack, with Cazorla being sacrificed for Fabianski following Szczesny's red card.
HALF TIME! The referee brings an end to a very interesting first half, in which both respective sides missed penalty opportunities! Mesut Ozil missed an early penalty chance, before David Alaba struck the woodwork as the clock crept towards the half time break. An enthralling match-up, and Arsenal head into the second half with a man light.
45' + 2'
Yellow Card Mario Mandzukic
Robben is now being roundly booed whenever he touches the ball, with the home fans presumably thinking that the Dutchman over-exaggerated his fall to ensure that he won a penalty for the away side. Arsenal are sat deep in their own half, allowing Bayern to dominate the ball, hoping to soak up the pressure in the remaining minutes.
Playing a second half with ten men against Bayern is an unenviable task, with Guardiola's side being experts in keeping the ball moving, waiting to exploit the slightest of gaps, which are more likely to appear when the hosts are a man light. The Gunners will have to put in a brave performance to leave their own stadium unscathed tonight.
Bayern are now holding onto the ball, with their fans cheering every completed pass! The home fans answer their adversaries, and we suddenly have a resurgent atmosphere on our hands! A few minutes until the break, and should the Gunners make it inside with their clean sheet still intact, Wenger will probably consider it a job well done.
Missed Penalty David Alaba
POST! HE'S MISSED! ALABA HITS THE UPRIGHT FOR BAYERN! The Austria international passes the ball onto the foot of the left post, and Arsenal's fans celebrate as though they've scored a goal! Two missed penalties in the first half! Unprecedented between two sides of such quality!
Well, after a lengthy stoppage, Fabianski is making his way onto the field to face Alaba's penalty. The home fans encourage the substitute, and he really needs to save this to give Arsenal a chance of staying in a relatively solid position in the fixture.
Red Card Wojciech Szczesny
PENALTY! RED CARD! THE REFEREE AWARDS A PENALTY TO BAYERN! Kroos clips a wonderful ball over the Arsenal back four, with Robben able to lift the ball over the onrushing Szczesny, who brings down the winger! Arsene Wenger is furious, with the fourth official needing to calm him down a little. Fabianski will make his way onto the field, with his first task being to save a penalty.
Great work from Koscielny! The French defender misses his interception, before recovering brilliantly, chasing Mandzukic down as he enters the box - before sliding in to dispossess his opponent. A situation of his own making, but he dealt with it well.
ROBBEN! Good block from Mertesacker, as Alaba cuts the ball back from the byeline towards the Netherlands international. Robben strikes it first time, eight yards from goal, but Mertesacker finds himself in the way. Monreal has already been tested in the opening minutes following his introduction, and Bayern are yet to make any inroads.
LAHM! The Bayern captain pokes an effort towards goal, looping a half volley towards the edge of the six yard box, which Szczesny does well to push away from goal while under pressure. Plenty of half chances for the away side, but the Poland international hasn't been forced into too many saves.
Good cross from Oxlade-Chamberlain! The 20-year-old wriggles free of Alaba once again, before curling in a cross that Neuer is forced to come out and claim. He's been a real livewire for the home side, and could be booking his place on a plane to the World Cup at this rate.
Arsenal are forced into their first change of the match, with Monreal taking the place of the unfortunately injured Gibbs. The home crowd give him a warm reception, perhaps understanding that coming into such a game is nerve-wracking, especially when Bayern are enjoying themselves down their right flank.
It doesn't look good for Gibbs, who appears to have picked up a hamstring problem, with Monreal being the likely replacement for the Englishman. Moments earlier, Thiago looked to fire an effort towards goal from 20 yards, but three Arsenal players were on hand to crowd him out and defuse the situation.
Bayern continue to be the dominant force in this game, with Robben taking a free-kick short to Kroos. The midfielder takes a touch before curling a cross towards the back post, but Mandzukic can only head five yards wide of the far post, with Szczesny looking to have his angles covered.
MANDZUKIC! Excellent defending from Sagna! Gibbs was beaten by Gotze on the left hand side of Arsenal's defence, before the former Dortmund man whipped a cross in towards the towering Croatian. Sagna appears from nowhere, nodding the ball away from Mandzukic as he looked to steer the cross home.
Oxlade-Chamberlain pops up in a dangerous area again, as the England international gets the better of Dante once again. His eventual cross from the byeline is cleared behind by Martinez, winning the hosts a corner. Sanogo manages to get on the end of Cazorla's delivery, but Thiago is able to clear before the Frenchman can get a shot away.
OXLADE-CHAMBERLAIN! The young Englishman's pace allows for him to race onto a long ball, outpacing Alaba and Dante, but Neuer is quick off his line! As the former Southampton midfielder makes his way into the area, the Germany international is able to rush out to hoof the ball off Oxlade-Chamberlain's toes!
Bayern continue to dominate, as is always the theme in their domestic matches. Since Ozil's penalty miss, the hosts haven't had one meaningful attack, being limited to a couple of hopeful long-range efforts. Die Roten are enjoying some joy down the right, but otherwise Arsenal have looked solid.
As the first half progresses, Ozil's missed penalty begins to look more and more glaring. After a bright and hectic start, possession has swung into the favour of the visitors. Flamini tries a shot from 20 yards, but blasts over the crossbar. Sanogo's lay-off wasn't brilliant, with the youngster already looking a little flustered while on the ball.
ALABA! Great strike from the Austrian, but Flamini is equal to it, with the former Milan midfielder throwing himself in front of the ball to divert it away from the danger zone. Szczesny would probably have been able to make the save, but it was still good defending from the Frenchman.
Guardiola is giving out constant instruction to Boateng, who looks like Bayern's potential weak link, especially after picking up an early yellow card. The Bundesliga leaders are well on top, with Lahm bombing forward at every given opportunity, appearing to relish his return to his preferred right-back slot.
After a quarter of an hour, this is finally starting to settle down. Arsenal have to accept that Bayern will have their dominant spells in this match, and the Gunners are looking to be setting up in a manner which will allow them to weather the storm. Gotze is beginning to pop up all over the field, especially in the penalty area, allowing for Lahm to burst into the space on the right that he's leaving.
Bayern are taking control of this fixture now, with their clever interplay beginning to pick holes in Arsenal. Lahm breaks down the right hand side, before whipping in a cross for Mandzukic, but the Croatia international is beaten to the ball by the alert Szczesny.
ROBBEN! The Bayern winger tries his luck from a 30-yard free kick, but fires his initial effort into the wall! The rebound falls back to him, but he doesn't keep his head over the ball, ballooning his second attempt wildly over the crossbar. The visitors are getting a foothold in this match.
What a fast-paced start to this match! The atmosphere has gone slightly flat after the penalty miss, with Arsenal affording their opponents more time on the ball! Gotze hooks a hopeful cross in towards Robben, but the Dutch winger can't divert the delivery towards Szczesny's goal.
Penalty save Manuel Neuer
Missed Penalty Mesut Özil
SAVED! NEUER SAVES OZIL'S PENALTY! It's a weak effort from the Arsenal midfielder, down the middle and Neuer merely beats it away! The Germany international keeper does well to read his compatriot's thoughts, but Arsenal needed to capitalise on that golden opportunity there!
Yellow Card Jerome Boateng
PENALTY TO ARSENAL! JEROME BOATENG BRINGS DOWN OZIL! Arsenal are streaming forward, with Ozil chopping inside Boateng to win his side an early penalty! What a chance for Wenger's men! A yellow card for Boateng too.
SANOGO! That was almost the dream Champions League debut start for the Frenchman! His ferocious shot is saved brilliantly by Neuer, who stops the powerful effort with a smart save to his right! Arsenal are in control in the opening stages, and the Germany international goalkeeper is forced into another routine save moments later.
CAZORLA! SANOGO! The Spain international tries his luck from the edge of the area, but it's blocked, before the rebound is whipped into the box by Sagna. Sanogo meets it with his head, but can't turn it towards goal!
An energetic opening five minutes, as the hosts are looking to move the ball in quick transitions, to try and catch out Bayern. Wilshere and Oxlade-Chamberlain have both been able to dance into the box, before being dispossessed by Brazilian international Dante.
Robben is actually positioned on the left hand side of the Bayern midfield tonight, which may pose Sagna a few problems. The Dutchman normally likes to cut in onto his strong left foot and try his luck from range, but won't be permitted to act in such a way from the position he has been assigned. Arsenal are looking to break quickly in the early stages.
KROOS! What a great save by Szczesny! The Polish goalkeeper jumps athletically over to the top right hand corner, pushing Kroos' effort around the post! He didn't look in a position to generate power, but that was some hit! The resulting corner finds its way to Robben, who hammers a left-footed effort against Sagna.
Pep Guardiola is yet to win at the Emirates as a manager, with the former Barcelona coach presumably looking to find an away goal in what has been a Premier League fortress this season. The partnership of Mertesacker and Koscielny is a strong one, and Arsenal's fans are certainly acting as the twelfth man!
We are underway in the first half! A win tonight would be the 150th for Arsenal at the Emirates, with Arsene Wenger wanting to silence his critics in the best possible way tonight. A few changes for either outfit, but both are filled with quality and technical ability. This should be an enthralling encounter!
Both of the teams exit the tunnel, making their way onto the field of play in an exciting atmosphere. The home side have arranged some choreography ahead of kick-off, with fans being given placards to raise above their heads, spelling out the name of their club. This is quite an occasion, promising to be an excellent match, and don't even think about going anywhere! The Champions League anthem rings out in the evening air!
Arsenal's form of late has been patchy at best, with the Gunners picking up only two wins from their last five outings. A recent 5-1 defeat to Liverpool is glaring, despite Wenger's charges redeeming themselves against Brendan Rodgers' outfit within a fortnight. Bayern, on the other hand, haven't conceded in four matches, managing 4-0 and 5-0 victories in their last two matches, versus Freiburg and Hamburg. Could tonight be a bridge too far for Arsenal?
There's plenty of discussion regarding Arsene Wenger's selection of young French striker Yaya Sanogo, with the former Auxerre forward featuring only twice in an Arsenal shirt thus far during his spell in England. Managing three caps for France U21s, the 21-year-old has some experience of relatively big occasions, but nothing quite like tonight. His physicality will enable him to act as a handful for the bulky likes of Boateng and Dante - but Giroud and Podolski lie in wait should the summer signing not put in a convincing performance.
Since Bayern last faced Arsenal, the Bavarian outfit have triumphed in 45 of their last 49 games, with a staggering goal difference of 118, with Jupp Heynckes steering Die Roten to an unprecendented treble last season. Guardiola has continued the good work of the former Bayern coach, with the away side sitting comfortably at the top of the Bundesliga with a 16 point cushion.
Bayern substitutes: Starke, Van Buyten, Rafinha, Pizarro, Muller, Contento, Schweinsteiger.
Bayern starting line-up: Neuer; Lahm, Boateng, Dante, Alaba; Thiago; Robben, Martinez, Kroos, Gotze; Mandzukic.
Arsenal substitutes: Fabianski, Monreal, Rosicky, Jenkinson, Gnabry, Giroud, Podolski.
Arsenal starting line-up: Szczesny; Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ozil, Flamini, Wilshere, Cazorla; Sanogo.
TEAM NEWS: Several changes for Bayern, as captain Philipp Lahm reverts to right-back at the expensive of Rafinha. Javi Martinez is back fit and thrown into the action, with Bastian Schweinsteiger not fit enough to make the starting eleven. Franck Ribery and Xherdan Shaqiri miss out through injury, with Mario Gotze starting on the left-hand side, and back-in-favour Mario Mandzukic starting in attack.
TEAM NEWS: Mikel Arteta misses out through suspension, while Olivier Giroud maintains his place on the bench amidst the furore over his private life. Yaya Sanogo gets his second consecutive starting place, leading the line in front of a midfield five. Tomas Rosicky and Lukas Podolski are on the bench for the hosts, with the Czech international having previously played against Bayern's manager whilst at Sparta Prague.
I'm Simon Harrison, and I will be leading you through all of the action from the Emirates, as Arsene Wenger's side attempt to topple the reigning Champions League cupholders. The Gunners were the last side to keep a clean sheet versus Die Roten in this competition, but face a much different machine to their previous adversaries. Pep Guardiola's system and signings have made the Bavarian side the tournament's favourites, with their star-studded, fluid set-up striking fear into opposition teams' hearts.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of tonight's Champions League action, as Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich travel to the Emirates to face the Premier League's second-placed side, Arsenal. The visitors are dominating domestically, and head to England with their only competitive defeats of this season coming from a 3-2 defeat in this tournament at the hands of Manchester City, and a 4-2 loss to Borussia Dortmund in the German Super Cup.
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