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UEFA Champions League
14 March 2013
• Allianz-Arena, München
Referee: P. Kralovec
• Attendance: 68000
Aggregate 3 - 3 Bayern München win on away goals
O. Giroud 3'
L. Koscielny 86'
Anyway, that’s it for this play-by-play report. Stay with Goal.com for all the post match reaction and analysis, which we'll get to you as and when it comes through. Cheers for reading.
And even more depressingly, at the quarter-final stages of the competition, the only representative left for England is Wembley – with the final set to be held in London come May. Hmm.
And with the club sat in 5th place in the Premier League, football in Europe’s premier club competition for next season is by no means guaranteed. Could this be Arsenal’s last Champions League appearance for 18-or-so months?
Our man at the ground, Wayne Veysey, tells it to you straight: "Arsenal exit at the last-16 stage of the Champions League for the third consecutive year but they restored some pride with a memorable 2-0 win at Bayern Munich. Goals from Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny set up a pulsating final six minutes but the Gunners were dead on their feet by the end following a performance of great heart and commitment. Bayern dominated the match but came up against a far more resilient defence than three weeks ago, while Lukasz Fabianski made a string of acrobatic saves in goal."
Though they restored some pride, it will prove a devestating result for Gooners, who surely would not have expected to be within a goal of producing such an unlikely upset. Arsenal have their own lacklustre performance in the first leg to blame though, ultimately it has cost the Gunners their place in the Champions League, with the club dropping out at the same stage now for three years in a row.
Arsenal are out of the Champions League on away goals, drawing 3-3 after winning away at Bayern Munich 2-0 on the night.
90' + 3'
And that's it, game over!
90' + 2'
But Arteta again fouls Robben deep within his own half, with Muller taking the ball into the corner to see out the last minute or so.
90' + 1'
Mertesacker produces a fantastic block to deny Robben's near post drive, allowing Arsenal to build one last, sustained attempt on the opposition goal...
Yellow CardM. Gómez
The midfielder shows his frustration by coming through the back of Robben, to allow the hosts some breathing space. The referee's assistant indicates that there will be 3 minutes of injury time.
Arsenal win a free-kick just inside the Bayern half that Arteta opts to hammer into the box. The ball is over-hit though, evading everybody to tickle out for a goal kick.
It was a great header from the Frenchman, who muscled his way to prominence in a box crowded with players to sink an unstoppable header into Neuer's bottom corner.
Yellow CardLaurent Koscielny
GOAL! Arsenal bag a second and the comeback is very much on!
Laurent Koscielny rises highest to nod home Santi Cazorla's corner. The Gunners have five minutes to cpmplete one of the most remarkable turnarounds in Champions League history.
The travelling fans are obviously drawing their best of of their team, as Wayne Veysey reveals: "The Arsenal fans have out-sung their hosts this evening, who have mostly been whipped up only into the occasional frenzy. By contrast, the 3,000 travelling Gooners have maintained a regular stream of chants in support of their team."
Yellow CardSanti Cazorla
Muller fires straight into Fabianski about 10 yards out from goal. This game was yoyoing violently end to end, before Martinez earned himself a booking for clattering into Rosicky, to calm down the tempo.
Yellow CardJavi Martínez
Yellow CardPer Mertesacker
Gervinho produces an outstanding piece of skill in a crowded box after collecting a pass from Cazorla. The Ivorian twists into an improvised spin to take himself away from Dante though with Neuer baring down on him, he can only prod infuriatingly wide of the post. The goal tickled over the byline and had any Arsenal players been alive to what was happening, they could have had the easiest of finishes. It's just that nobody expected Gervinho to work himself into that situation.
Arsenal have started to assert themselves, with just under 15 minutes left on the clock to bag themselves two goals.
Jenkinson progresses well down the right flank and finds Giroud in the box. The target man bundles over in the box yet neglects to take a shot with his left foot as he falls. Gervinho wasn't best pleased either, with the Frenchman opting out of sliding the ball to the substitute too.
Not the best of starts for Oxlade-Chamberlain, who attempts to take on Alaba, fails and sees the ball rebound back onto his arm. Handball correctly given.
Yellow CardOlivier Giroud
Oxlade-Chamberlain and Gervinho come on for the visitors in an attempt to prize a stingy looking Bayern defence open. Ramsey and Walcott depart - with both pretty anonymous after the break.
Arsenal manage to emerge out of their own half, only to produce absolutely nothing of note. Meanwhile, back down the other end, Kroos continues his poor form in front of goal, hammering high and wide. Probably the pick of the bunch, that one.
Outrageous stuff from Muller, who produces the game's first real moment of class, with a delightfully improvised backheel pass that releases Robben. The Dutchman bares down on goal though looks unconvincing in the chase, eventually drawing a save from Fabianski after being put under pressure by a covering Jenkinson. Robben really should have done better there.
But that looks increasingly unlikely given Bayern's sustained pressure at the moment.
Kroos again takes aim from outside the box but fails to impress with another scuffed effort. Bayern could really live to rue these missed chances if Arsenal get themselves another goal.
Lahm - who was also attacked well this half - finds Gustavo on the edge of the box with a neat cut back. The Brazilian steadies himself and sends a bending effort just wide of the goal that sends Fabianski scrambling across nervously.
Yellow CardTomas Rosicky
Robben has proved a handful this half and this time he's earned another Gunners player a yellow card, with Rosicky hauling him down after it looked as if he was away down the left.
Cazorla steps up... And fires straight into the wall. The Spaniard is screaming for handball but he'll be lucky - it was a poorly struck free-kick, nothing else.
Rosicky draws a foul from Gustavo in a promising position on the edge of the box for the Gunners...
Yellow CardPhilipp Lahm
Muller finds some space down the right and fizzes a ball that is screaming for some near-post attacking attention. No-one is their for the hosts however and the ball goes underneath an unsuspecting Fabianski and innocuously out of danger.
A poor Martinez touch allows Rosicky to collect a Giroud touch and haphazardly clip a ball through to Walcott. The winger puts on the backburners and is through on goal, before being blown for offside. Replays show it was a poor decision from the official, with Walcott a good yard or two onside.
A chilly Wayne Veysey reports on an Arsenal manager obviously revealing the heat in the Allianz Arena: "Arsene Wenger is keeping busy with some touchline gymnastics, but how he can spurn his sleeping bag overcoat in these conditions is beyond me. It is proper, three-pairs-of socks-esque cold in Munich tonight, with temperatures expected to nosedive to minus four in the early hours. Yet Wenger is stood in the technical area simply ina navy suit. No bobble hot. No gloves. Nothing."
Robben and Kroos - obviously with some sort of point to prove in this second half - combine to force Koscielny to make a desperate near-post interception. Bayern look a lot more assertive here.
Not to be outdone, Kroos takes aim from range and belts a right-footed effort inches from the top corner. Fabianski was scrambling for that one. With a bit of luck, those close shaves will kick-start a subdued looking Arsenal into life.
Robben starts the second half with some dynamism that was sadly lacking before the break. The winger drove at the heart of the Gunners defence, before taking aim with a left-footed shot that fizzed just wide of Fabianski’s left upright.
And we're off.
And we’re back out. No changes made…
Not that I’m pessimistic towards the Gunners cause at all.
Bayern’s finishing in the first half has left a lot to be desired, yet we shouldn’t forget that of the teams in the competition, they lead the way in terms of goals scored, with 18 in seven Champions League matches. So far Arsenal may have seemed uncharacteristically sturdy at the back, but of the 16 teams left in the tournament, theirs is the worst defence, having let in 11.
Wayne Veysey chips in from Germany: "The Arsenal fans are in good cheer after seeing their team show some welcome fight in the backyard of the mighty Bayern. Arsene Wenger's team need two more goals to beat their hosts but the manager and his players will be encouraged that the runaway Bundesliga leaders are not anywhere near as polished as three weeks ago. If Arsenal can conjure a second goal before the 70-minute mark, they can make it a very nervy finish for Bayern."
So – the situation as it stands means Arsenal still need another two goals to overcome their opponents on aggregate. A goal from Bayern wouldn’t change things at all, with Lukas Podolski’s (at-the-time) consolation goal in the first leg taking a slight gloss off Jupp Heynckes’s side’s three away goals.
And that’s half-time at the Allianz Arena, with Arsenal finding themselves with an unlikely 1-0 lead against last year’s finalists Bayern Munich.
Yellow CardKieran Gibbs
Gibbs earns himself a foolish yellow for an overexuberant challenge on Robben as the Dutchman attemped to burst out of his own half. Hopefully that won't come back to bite the full-back later on in the game.
As the first half reaches its latter stages, much of the tempo and life as been sucked out of the encounter, something which will suit Arsenal down to a tee. I'm sure Arsene Wenger would have bitten someone's, anyone's hand off to be 1-0 up and half time.
With Giroud receiving treatment for an awkward fall, Wayne Veysey chips in with some thoughts as the game hits a brief lull: "Arsenal can feel quite content with how the opening 35 minutes or so has gone. They have not got their passing game working with complete smoothness, but they are defending well as a unit and looking a big threat on the counter-attack. Judging by the chanting from the away fans, the most popular Arsenal player among supporters is Santi Cazorla and it is easy to see why. The little Spaniard's touch and passing has been a delight this evening. He looks completely at home on this stage."
Muller hits a meaningless and eventually aimless pass across the box, with Kroos in a decent position and ready to step onto the ball and hit it. Sloppy stuff from the Germany international, who scored at this stadium in last year’s Champions League final.
Over the last few minutes Arsenal have pressed a little higher up the field and consequently negated Bayern’s impetus. However, chances are still few and far between for the visitors, who still need two goals in order to come away with anything meaningful from this tie.
In a carbon copy scenario to the Gunners unlikely opener, Walcott finds himself with some space to use and abuse down the right. The winger drills in a similar ball to the one that gifted his side the lead, though this time no-one can get on the end of it.
Muller almost capitalises on a fluffed Mertesacker clearance but can only rifle into the side-netting. Bayern’s finishing as been somewhat off-the-boil so far, but their prolificacy is there for all to see. When Mandzukic scored in the first leg of this tie, he became the club’s 10th different player to net in Europe this term. Bayern’s goal threat comes from all over the park and Arsenal will need to continue their purposeful defending to insure against a costly slip-up.
It's Robben's chance to go close as he drags a pretty poor effort with his left foot well wide of the post, before Lahm has his bite at the apple but horribly shanks an effort from the other side of the box.
The Gunners get given a taste of their own medicine as they nearly get hit on the break. Some stellar work from Jenkinson sees the full-back snuff out any threat though, using his body to edge Robben out of harm's way before clearing down the line.
Better from the hosts. Well, I say better, as Kroos hits at least hits the target after some decent work down the right from Muller. Fabianski makes a routine save.
Bayern are continuing to knock but with minimal degrees of success. This time, after some considered build-up, Martinez fires wastefully both high and wide.
Aside from his tap-in, Giroud has barely seen any of the ball and some rustiness is showing, with the Frenchman failing to find Walcott with a relatively straightforward pass from A to B.
Kroos goes down courtesy of a tangle of legs with Ramsey. Nothing serious – the midfielder is back on his feet after a minute or so.
Here's Wayne Veysey's take on Arsenal's pensive start to the game: "Following Arsenal's surprising goal, the Bayern fans were initally silenced but they are finding their voices again now as their team begin to control possession. Yet, Arsenal will not be unhappy to play on the counter-attack, as it will allow them to make use of the pace and mobility of their trump cards Theo Walcott and Santi Cazorla."
A slight communicative breakdown between Fabianski – starting his first game in a year – and Mertesacker almost lets Mandzukic through, though the Polish keeper is down aggressively at the striker’s feet to stamp out any danger.
Kroos jinks into the box but can only fire straight at Mertesacker as the home side continue to assert pressure. The Gunners withstand a string of thrusts forward but as the chance to counter presents itself, Rosicky fails to find Walcott, who was scampering down the right.
The Gunners haven’t played since the 3rd of this month so, in theory, they should be well rested. It’s evident that Arsene Wenger isn’t opting for a high-tempo pressing game though, with Arsenal looking content to get numbers behind the ball and attempt to hit Bayern on the counter.
The hosts force a corner, with Kroos drilling a low ball into the box that evades Ramsey at the near post, though Gustavo, on the stretch, can only fire over the bar.
After that unlikely opener Bayern have somewhat steadied the ship here, confidently building up possession to pen Arsenal back in their own half. I get the feeling this could be a recurrent theme for the game.
Here's Wayne Veysey: "Those same 3,000 Arsenal fans are going potty in the top tierof the stand behind the goal to the left of the press box. A superbly worked move that featured excellent first-time passes from Santi Cazorla and Tomas Rosicky ended with Theo Walcott's driven cross being bundled into the net by Olivier Giroud."
That’s a remarkable start from Arsenal, who have got the early goal that will be crucial to any hopes they have of overturning the hosts 3-1 first leg lead. Walcott was found in acres of space in the Bayern box and his driven cross was on a plate for Giroud to fire home. Game on.
WHOA! GOAL ARSENAL! Giroud tucks in Walcott’s cross from two yards out to stun Bayern.
Tentative start from the Gunners, who look content to start this one with some pretty comfy passing at the back. Per Mertesacker demonstrates why this might be a sensible approach, punting forward a long pass that hits no-one and tickles through to Neuer.
And we're underway...
And the teams are out and about at the Allianz Arena.
More from Wayne Veysey: "As Robert Pires (name-dropping alert) explained to me earlier, Arsenal will not hold back from attempting one of the biggest turnarounds in two-legged Champions League history. Those who reported that Arsene Wenger would concede the match to save his men for Swansea on Saturday have been left with egg on their faces."
For Bayern, Franck Ribery misses out as expected, while Arjen Robben appears to have made a full recovery from a troublesome calf injury that kept him out at the weekend. Javi Martinez also starts for the hosts, with Bastian Schweinsteiger suspended.
Wayne Veysey, our man at the Allinaz, sums up that team news: “The big news from the Allianz Arena is that Thomas Vermaelen has been axed from the starting XI as Arsene Wenger selects what he believes is his strongest available team for mission impossible. As revealed on Goal.com this morning, Kieran Gibbs comes in for the Belgian, with Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny the chosen centre-back pairing. Carl Jenkinson replaces the injured Bacary Sagna at right-back, while Olivier Giroud and Tomas Rosicky replace Lukas Podolski and Jack Wilshere from the first-leg team.”
Arsenal: Fabianski; Jenkinson, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Gibbs; Arteta, Ramsey; Walcott, Rosicky, Cazorla; Giroud. Subs: Mannone, Arshavin, Vermaelen, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Diaby, Gervinho, Coquelin.
Bayern Munich: Neuer; Lahm, Van Buyten, Dante, Alaba; Gustavo, Martinez; Muller, Kroos, Robben; Mandzukic. Subs: Starke, Rafinha, Contento, Shaqiri, Tymoshchuk, Pizarro, Gomez.
Anyway, before I force Gooners to reach for the bottle, here are tonight’s teams…
And that’s not even factoring in the confirmed absence of fundamental cog/lucky mascot/boy wonder/talisman Jack Wilshere, who’s out with rather foreboding ankle problems.
Oh – and the Germans have only conceded three goals at home in the competition this season. Arsenal have to score that amount tonight (while ensuring they don’t concede) in order to progress to the quarter-finals.
Arsenal haven’t beaten Bayern Munich in five Champions League encounters and the competition has never seen a team overturn a two-goal home deficit. The last English team to beat Bayern in Germany (not counting on penalties) was Norwich City – a full 20 years ago.
However, at the risk of coming across all doom and gloom, things aren’t looking too rosy for Arsene Wenger’s men…
A dominant 3-1 win at the Emirates for Jupp Heynckes’ 2012 Champions League runners-up has firmly buckled the Bundesliga leaders into the driving seat for this evening’s second leg at the Allianz Arena, though Lukas Podolski’s consolation goal has given the Gunners a fleeting flicker of hope.
Evening all and welcome to Goal.com’s play-by-play coverage of the Champions League last 16 encounter between Bayern Munich and Arsenal.
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