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With a mouth-watering clash between Arsenal and Bayern Munich coming, Goal Singapore takes a look at the best matches in the past where the English club can take inspiration from

Arsenal are set to take on Bayern Munich in the Round of 16 in the Champions League on Thursday morning, Singapore time, in a rematch of last season’s knockout round.

In that game, Bayern stormed to a 3-1 lead in the first leg at the Emirates but Arsenal came back to beat the German champions on their own turf 2-0 in the return leg. It was not meant to be as the English side were knocked out on the away goals rule, while Bayern went on to win the Champions League trophy.

With Pep Guardiola now the manager of the Bayern team, it seems that there is no stopping the German machine from powering through another Champions League success. However, Arsenal can draw inspiration from previous performances over the years to see how English clubs have overcome their German counterpart in European ties.

In this week’s top 5, Goal Singapore looks at the best victories English clubs have had over German opposition over the years.

5. Bayer Leverkusen 0-5 Manchester United
November 27, 2013

 
Coming in fifth is the most recent tie in the list. In fact, the tie happened earlier this season as Manchester United demolished an in-form Bayer Leverkusen team.

At that time, the German side had won eight consecutive home matches and had won the opening 10 out of their 13 games in the Bundesliga.

However, United must have missed the memo as they destroyed their opponents at their own turf. Wayne Rooney was the chief architect as he had a hand in four of the goals. Antonio Valencia, Chris Smalling, Jonny Evans and Nani all made it into the scoresheet while the Red Devils also scored via an own goal.

The win ensured their passage into the last 16 and the result was made more remarkable considering the woeful season the reigning Premier League champions are having this season.

4. Aston Villa 1-0 Bayern Munich
May 26, 1982

 
Aston Villa are the unlikeliest and oldest English club to make the top 5 list after they beat Bayern Munich in the 1982 European Cup final.

Having won the league title the season before, Villa were probably the worst winners to have won the competition, finishing 11th in their domestic season in England.

But as we all know, anything can happen in football and in this match, which was held at the Feijenoord Stadium in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Peter Withe was the hero as he scored the only goal of the game.

Villa did have to ride their luck as Bayern did find the net in the 87th minute of the game, but the goal was ruled offside. In the end, Villa held on for the win and continued the trend as the sixth consecutive English victor in the competition.

3. Leeds United 2-1 VFB Stuttgart
October 9, 1992
Leeds United also join the party at number three, thanks to their bizarre win over VFB Stuttgart in 1992.

In the first season of the newly-branded Champions League, Leeds were paired with Stuttgart in the first round and they slumped to a 3-0 defeat in Germany before a 4-1 win at Elland Road saw them dumped out painfully on away goals.

However, in the most unusual of circumstances, Stuttgart were caught by Uefa bringing on a fourth foreign player (only three were allowed in those days) during the match at Elland Road. As a result, UEFA awarded Leeds a 3-0 victory and ordered a third, winner-takes-all match between the two sides played on neutral territory, which was Nou Camp.

Of course, Leeds won the tie 2-1 thanks to goals from Gordan Strachan and Carl Shutt.

2. Bayern Munich 1-1 Chelsea (Chelsea won 4-3 on penalties)
May 19, 2012

Chelsea won their first ever European trophy in 2012 after beating Bayern Munich (who else, right?) in the final at the Allianz Arena on penalties.

The Germans were overwhelming favourites entering the tie and playing the final at their home ground seemed the perfect way to end the season, by winning the trophy in front of their own fans.

However, Chelsea had other ideas and stole the title right under their noses.

Bayern dominated the entire game and finally took the lead in the 83rd minute thanks to Thomas Muller’s header. But just as the entire stadium was getting ready to celebrate, Didier Drogba struck with a header of his own from Juan Mata’s corner to bring the tie into extra time.

As Arjen Robben missed an extra time penalty for the Germans, the Blues gained in stature as the tie moved into the dreaded shootout. Amazingly, for once, the Germans became inept in penalties as Chelsea ran out 4-3 winners in the shootout, the winning goal scored by none other than the now departed Drogba.

1. Manchester United 2-1 Bayern Munich
May 26, 1999

Yes you’ve guessed it. Coming in at number one is none other than arguably the most famous and dramatic match in the history of football.

Even now, the game is still the most prominent match in Manchester United folklore as they came back from the dead to steal a 2-1 win against Bayern Munich in the 1999 final at the Nou Camp.

For the benefit of the uninformed, the German side took the lead as early as the sixth minute after Mario Basler’s free kick beat Peter Schmeichel.

Bayern dominated the game and had countless chances to put the tie to bed as the United custodian, with the help of the crossbar (twice), kept the result at bay.

Somehow, as the match entered Fergie time, substitute Teddy Sheringham got to the end of Ryan Giggs’ scuffed shot from a corner to score the equaliser. Just as the Germans were dealing with the shock goal, United struck again as another substitute, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, put the ball into the roof of the net from another corner.

Both sets of players were in disbelief. The difference was that United were in ecstasy, while Bayern were in agony.

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