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UEFA Champions League
March 11, 2014
• Allianz-Arena, München
Referee: S. Moen
• Attendance: 68000
B. Schweinsteiger 55'
Bayern München win Aggregate 3 - 1
L. Podolski 57'
That's it from me folks, hope you enjoyed it. See you next time.
Bayern, apart from the antics of Robben, were supremely professional, the better side over both legs. Simply too much quality all over and in reserve from Pep Guardiola's men, who move one step closer to defending their Champions League title.
Arsenal made a game of it, but cannot avoid falling against Bayern in the knockout stages for the second straight year. Podolski cancelled out a Schweinsteiger goal in the second half, but that was as good as it got for the Gunners, who are out in the last 16 for the fourth consecutive year.
90' + 5'
And that is that! Full time!
90' + 4'
POOR from Giroud, who was free down the right and had the chance to cut back onto his left foot and have a shot on goal. He goes for a laboured cutback to Podolski instead, which the streaking Alaba clears away from danger.
90' + 2'
Missed Penalty Thomas Müller
90' + 2'
Penalty save Lukasz Fabianski
FABIANSKI SAVES IT! Justice is done in the end, as Muller steps up to take the kick, but the Polish keeper parries it and spoons the ball away just as it was about to roll over the line! Last ditch save!
90' + 2'
Harsh, very harsh on Koscienly, who has tussled manfully with Robben all game long. He challenges the Dutchman in the box, who goes down rather easily under minimal contact.
90' + 1'
Cazorla and Podolski link up well in the attacking third, but Gnabry wastes the move with a shot right into Neuer. Robben attacks Koscielny on the next play, and the REFEREE AWARDS A PENALTY!
Podolski clips in a magnificent deep ball which travels all of 60 yards towards Gnabry on the right. The crowd holds its breath as the young German cuts into his left peg and has a go on goal, but he misses the target by a mile. Quite a shocking shot in the end.
Podolski narrowly called for an offside on the left hand side of the box, and another Arsenal half chance evaporates. Not long left for Bayern, who have been remarkable in their professional approach to weather the Arsenal storm.
VICENTE CALDERON UPDATE: Diego Costa has put the icing on the cake in Madrid, striking with five minutes to go to make it 4-1 to Atletico Madrid. The Liga upstarts are steamrolling the Rossoneri into the quarter finals!
VITAL touch from Alaba takes the ball off the stride of Gnabry, who was lining up for a volley at the far post from Cazorla's across-the-box clip. Had he missed that header, then Arsenal may well have had their second goal, setting up a grandstand finish.
Wenger may just have accepted defeat as Oxlade-Chamberlain, who was struggling with a touch of cramp earlier, departs for Flamini. Bayern make a change of their own too, as Ribery, in his first game back since surgery, leaves the field for Muller.
My pick for man of the match? It's quite a toss up. Schweinsteiger of course scored the all important goal and has been crucial in maintaining possession for the home side, especially during this latest spell. But Oxlade-Chamberlain has been a mencae whenever Arsenal are on the ball, at the heart of everything good for the visitors. My nod just about goes to the German.
Yellow Card Thomas Vermaelen
A hefty collision between Ribery and Vermaelen sees both players left in a heap, with a yellow card to come for the latter. A high risk challenge from the defender which did not work out for him in the end.
Martinez becomes the second Bayern centre half to get booked, after he became frazzled with a Podolski move. Not been enough of that from the German forward though, especially with Martinez looking not quite at his comfortable best all night.
Yellow Card Javi Martínez
Time starting to run out from an Arsenal perspective. Last season, Koscielny scored their second goal at the Allianz Arena in the 83rd minute, which proved too lae for them to mount a famous comeback. Arsenal need to score, and score now.
Robben stings in a shot that Fabianski smothers, and on the next play, Giroud takes an impact wound from a challenge with Thiago. He must be okay to continue, because Gnabry, whose introduction has been in the pipeline for a while, replaces Arteta instead of the Frenchman.
Mikel Amatrian Arteta
Bayern try to be too cute and overindulgent again. Alaba leaves Sagna on his backside, before squaring to Schweinsteiger at the top of the box. Instead of having a shot, which he had all the space to do, he tries to clip it in for Mandzukic, who does not read his intentions. Were that Kroos, you would have bet that Fabianski would have been called into action.
VICENTE CALDERON UPDATE: Arda Turan has given Atletico a 3-1 lead on the night, and a 4-1 lead on aggregate. Milan need four goals with less than 20 minutes to go. A bridge too far for the Rossoneri one feels.
Arsenal's threat has died down in the past few minutes, and their momentum is further halted by another delayed reaction from Robben on a Vermaelen challenge. Probably a free kick, which is awarded, but my word, Robben does not do himself any favours!
FABIANSKI SAVES ARSENAL'S BACON! Bayern try to walk the ball into the back of the net on their next attack, and have plenty of chances to have a good shot on goal. Eventually it goes in towards Mandzukic, but Fabianski puts him off his shot, before smothering the rebound ahead of Alaba! Slack from Arsenal and complacent from Bayern!
NEUER CAN BREATHE AGAIN! The former Schalke stopper plays a horrendous short clearance that gifts the ball to Oxlade-Chamberlain. Rosicky is free for a second inside the area, but the ball in towards him is too close to Neuer. Still, those kind of mistakes give hope to Arsenal, as Bayern begin to feel the nerves!
Koscielny is not taking any nonesense for Robben, sticking with the Dutchman stride for stride down the right, and sliding in to intercept his attempted cross. A couple of double deflections later, and Arsenal have a goal kick. Great defending.
One more goal for Arsenal and the cat will be thrown right amongst the pigeons. The Gunners have looked the better side since Schweinsteiger scored, and Bayern look a little rattled. But will history repeat itself? Will it be glorious faliure like their 2-0 win here last campaign?
MERTESACKER! That was a vital block from the German, who pumps his fist either in celebration or in anger at his lethargic midfield. Podolski had lost the ball in suspicious circumstances to Robben, and there was a three on three break on the cards for the hosts, until the BFG's intervention.
Oxlade-Chamberlain has been far and away Arsenal's best player on the night. He's embraced his inner beast whenever he's been on the ball, running right at the Bayern defence and causing panic whenever he does. Can he help Arsenal get anything more from this tie?
Toni Kroos comes in to replace Mario Gotze. The hero of the first leg will help the hosts maintain possession better in the midfield and hopefully quell the threat of this rejuvenated Arenal side.
ARSENAL CREATING DANGER! Podolski very nearly squares to Giroud inside the area, before on the resulting corner, Oxlade-Chamberlain gets a snap shot away from the edge of the box that Neuer manages to catch! It took them conceding a goal, but Arsenal have finally woken up!
Goal Lukas Podolski
ARSENAL HIT BACK RIGHT AWAY! Bayern are furious, as the German appeared to push Lahm to the ground, but the referee deems it fair game. Everyone but Podolski pulls up, and Arsenal's German slams in a magnificent finish into the top corner at the near post!
Arsenal now need three goals, without conceding another. And on the basis of their defending on that play, I'd not even bank on them keeping Bayern to one goal. Mistakes abounded all over on that play.
Assist Franck Ribéry
Goal Bastian Schweinsteiger
Ribery cuts onto his right foot from the lef flank, and squares the ball into an impossibly large gap in the heart of the Arsenal defence. No one, and I mean NO ONE picks up Schweinsteiger, who gallops in and slots home!
SCHWEINSTEIGER! AND THAT MAY BE THAT!
Rosicky shows his value, sliding in to make a crucial challenge on Alaba, then racing forward instantly to latch onto a flick from Giroud on the next ball. He has the chance to play in the streaking Ox one on one with Lahm, but elects to play it safer towards Cazorla, who cannot control the pass in time.
That was shameful from Robben. He races down the right into the box, and there is a smidge of contact from Vermaelen, but the Dutchman stays on his feet for a full second or two before falling theatrically. The referee tells him to get to his feet, and he should have booked Robben, no question. What a dreadful, almost comical dive.
Arteta stretches late on Thiago, and concedes the foul. He's already on a yellow, remember, and cannot afford to be that careless in the future. The referee certainly had a look at that one, but decided against awarding a second booking to the Spaniard.
Oxlade-Chamberlain tries to play a one two with Podolski centrally, but there's simply too many bodies to prevent the Englishman from getting a run through the middle. Still, the Gunners have been much better in possession since the start of the second half.
The Gunners' task is the same, but they have 45 minutes less to accomplish it. They really need to release the shackles at some point, but a glance at their bench shows a comspicuous lack of game changing options.
Here we go again! One change to report at the break, as Rosicky replaces Ozil for the visitors. No surprise, as this is not the type of game for Arsenal's record signing who exits in disappointing fashion. The less cerebral but more energetic Rosicky will help to push the tempo.
Bayern Munich are halfway home, negotiating the first half relatively comfortably without coming close to conceding that dangerous away goal. Chances have been few and far between, with the hosts enjoying the best of a sparse bunch. Arsenal avoid conceding the goal that would have surely knocked them out, but they need more than the excellent Oxlade-Chamberlain to click into gear in the attacking third. Stay tuned for the restart in just a bit.
45' + 2'
But it's not going to come! The referee signals for the break and it's goalless.
45' + 1'
Vermaelen shepherds the ball out for a corner as we head into the first minute of added time. The delivery is dealt with by the Gunners, but Lahm has it back and Bayern keep pushing for one last chance before the break...
FABIANSKI SAVES! Alaba whips in a ball towards Mandzukic, and Koscielny heads clear, but it's not the best of headers, falling right to Gotze just inside the box. He bangs a half volley in on target, but the Polish keeper gets down well to smother the shot!
VICENTE CALDERON UPDATE: Arda Turan has given Atletico a 2-1 lead on the night, and a 3-1 advantage on aggregate. Milan need two goals again. It's simple for them now, they have to win in Madrid tonight!
Ozil does magnificently to wriggle his way out of a potentially catastrophic back pass, flicking the ball ahead of the onrushing Mandzukic before twisting and slotting to the free Vermaelen on the opposide side. Defending in his own silky fashion, the enigmatic German.
Bayern force two half chances in the last two minutes. Robben sees a shot blocked by Koscielny that may have been going off target anyway, before Mandzukic plants a header onto the roof of the net after beating Sagna to the ball on a Robben cross.
Bayern Munich have been scoring at will this season, with 15 goals coming in their last three games alone. Still, they haven't managed to breach this Gunners defence yet, which has been led superbly by Mertesacker so far on his return to his homeland.
Arsenal drop off Alaba after the Austrian leaves Arteta in his wake when cutting infield. He accepts the invitation to have a shot on goal, but Fabianski is not called into action and can watch it sail wide of his right hand post. Still, a dangerous gap for the Gunners to concede.
Lahm chips in a great little disguised pass for Robben, who streaks in down the left and nearly picks out Mandzukic on the goalline, but Arteta is in position to bundle the ball out for a corner! The resulting delivery is headed out with authority by Mertesacker.
AND IT IS! It's played right into the heart of the box, and Bayern's marking scheme switches off. Giroud gets a free header from 10 yards out, but cannot generate enough oomph behind it, and it's a comfortable, but necessary save from Neuer.
Cazorla takes the free kick, but it deflects off the wall and out for a corner. Disappointing set piece in the end from Cazorla, who has had quite a few of those in recent weeks. The delivery from the corner has to be better...
THE OX HAS BEEN FELLED! What a superb run from the yougster, who leaves Alaba, Martinez and Schweinsteiger in his wake, with the German midfielder tripping him right at the edge of the box! That is exactly what Arsenal need, and Bayern are lucky not to give up a yellow card!
Yellow Card Mikel Amatrian Arteta
VICENTE CALDERON UPDATE: Kaka has equalised for AC Milan, who are suddenly right back in the game! One more goal and they are ahead on aggregate. Meanwhile Arteta has been booked for a careless challenge on Schweinsteiger.
ARSENAL ESCAPE! Robben whips in the free kick and there is a sea of Bayern players lining up to tap it in. Martinez gets the touch and turns it into the back of the net, but the assistant's flag is raised correctly for an offside, as at least two Bayern players were behind the last defender.
Yellow Card Lukas Podolski
Podolski goes into the book for a late, needless challenge on Lahm. A careless challenge from the German forward, and one that puts him on a tightrope for the rest of the game with Robben and Gotze taking turns to attack down his side.
Uefa reports that possession has been at an exact 3-1 ratio to Bayern so far, with the hosts holding 75 per cent to Arsenal's 25. It's a telling statistic that perfectly explains the dynamics of this match so far. The high pressing from Bayern has been the main factor in Arsenal's inability to hold onto the ball.
Ribery spots the run of Alaba excellently, and Ozil is caught ball watching as the Austrian advances into the box. He spots Mandzukic lining up at the far post, and slides the ball in to him, but the long legs of Mertesacker gets there first! Arsenal escape.
Neuer claims the corner and sparks Bayern on the counter! Alaba and Ribery combine excellently down the left flank to expose and isolate Sagna, which leads to a cross from the former towards Robben, who has space to aim for but slashes a half volley over the top! Close shave!
Excellent work from Podolski down the left flank to hold off Martinez and whip in a dangerous cross that Dante has to clear ahead of Giroud! Corner and a chance for Arsenal, and a welcome respite from all the pressure. Martinez is complaining of an elbow by Podolski, but the contact was innocent.
Bayern are pressing the ball impossibly high up the pitch, with their defensive line camped nearly on the halfway line. It's doing an excellent job of forcing Arsenal into coughing up the ball, as the Gunners see passing options closed down within miliseconds.
Shot of Uli Hoeness in the stands, a man who definitely is not as relaxed as his team is out on the pitch currently. His trial for tax evasion has been a rather significant stain on an otherwise spotless Bayern season.
Arsenal, it has to be said, are doing a good job of restricting the space against a wave of red shirts in their half. They need to be more composed when they win the ball however, as too many rushed clearances have gifted possession right back to Die Roten.
Bayern are swarming around the Arsenal penalty area at the moment, and Mertesacker has to stretch to deal with a confusing back pass that nearly allowed Gotze on on the left flank. Very awkward, but the tall defender does what's required and clears his lines.
Bayern are seeing all of the ball, and Arsenal have wisely dropped back a little, packing the defensive third and allowing Bayern to control the ball in harmless areas. Dante's booking could be key, and Oxlade-Chamberlain would be wise to keep running at him on the counter attack.
Yellow Card Dante
Oxlade-Chamberlain is left upfield from a corner, and latches onto the clearance from Arteta. He squares up to Dante, and draws a cynical foul from him. Yellow for the Brazilian, and that is exactly the type of thrust that Wenger will like to see. The benefit of the Ox was clear on that play.
We've seen Arsenal pressing high up the pitch to start the game as they clearly don't want the opposition to strangle the life out of the game with their trademark possession. Bayern are certiainly capable of breaking past their banks of pressure though, and have done so already once through Schweini.
VICENTE CALDERON UPDATE: Diego Costa has given Atletico Madrid an early lead against AC Milan! The Brazilian struck the only goal of the game in the first leg at San Siro, and it may all be over already for the Rossoneri, who have to score at least twice.
First tester for Fabianski here, as Schweinsteiger lets fly from 20 yards, but it's right at the Pole. Arteta was show to spot Mandzukic's knockdown there, and that allowed Schweinsteiger the space to stride forward and have a crack at goal.
Keep an eye out on the interesting Arsenal midfield duo. Mikel Arteta has noticeably struggled against quality opposition this season, but the trump card of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain beside him is a big gamble by Wenger. Some of his most famous performances have come bursting from that deep role, and Schweinsteiger could well be in for a tough evening.
Here we go! Can lightning strike twice?
The teams are on the pitch, and kickoff is just around the corner...
No team has ever won the Champions League trophy in consecutive seasons, but Bayern are arguably the best equipped side to pull of that remarkable feat. However, this Gunners side are completely unpredictable, and their first half hour of football against Bayern in the first leg was the most rattled that I've seen them in a long while. Which Arsenal will turn up?
Arsenal meanwhile are wobbling, picking up only two wins from their last six in the league. They are seven points behind Chelsea, who have surged to the top of the EPL table - even though the Gunners have a game in hand. However, they are in the semi finals of the FA Cup (playing Wigan), and will fancy their chances of ending their long trophy drought in that competition, with Hull and Sheffield United in the concurrent semi.
The two teams also have contrasting fortunes in form coming into this game. Bayern are trampling all over the Bundesliga, with a 6-1 win over Wolfsburg making it their 49th straight league game unbeaten (feel the Invincibles symbolism, baby!). The Bundesliga title is now a mere formality and could be wrapped up later this month.
Having said that, such a scoreline would bring Arsenal level on aggregate, and this season's incarnation of the Gunners is arguably a more mature and polished side. But having said that, so are Bayern. Pep Guardiola has coaxed even more excellence from this side after Juup Heynckes' incredible treble exploits last season.
So Arsenal have the same task that they did one year ago - overturning a two goal deficit against the Bavarian giants at the Allianz Arena. The tie in 2012-13 was the most glorious of faliures for the Gunners, as a 2-0 win in Germany was not enough to overturn a 3-1 home leg loss.
The contrast between the two benches couldn't be more startling. The likes of Thomas Muller and Toni Kroos are the cream of the crop in their respective positions. Meanwhile, Arsenal's already small squad is peppered with injuries, leading to 18-year-old Isaac Hayden beginning on the bench. Other than Tomas Rosicky and Serge Gnabry, there's really not much for Wenger to look for should he need to push for a goal late on.
Arsene Wenger has no choice but to start Lukasz Fabianski after Wojciech Szczesny's suspension from his red card at the Emirates. The Gunners boss rotated his squad for the weekend FA Cup win over Everton, and brings some of his big guns back in, with Olivier Giroud replacing Yaya Sanogo, and Lukas Podolski coming in for Mathieu Flamini. Thomas Vermaelen also starts at left back due to the absence of Kieran Gibbs and Nacho Monreal.
Much like the first leg, Philipp Lahm is restored to his familiar role at right back. The anchorman position is filled by Bastian Schweinsteiger, and Franck Ribery is also handed a start, having missed the opening leg three weeks prior. Arjen Robben reverts to his familiar role on the right, while where is also a place in the XI for Thiago Alcantara in place of first leg star Toni Kroos.
Arsenal Subs: Viviano, Jenkinson, Flamini, Rosicky, Hayden, Gnabry.
ARSENAL (4-2-3-1): Fabianski; Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Vermaelen; Arteta, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Cazorla, Ozil, Podolski; Giroud.
Bayern Subs: Starke, Van Buyten, Rafinha, Pizarro, Boateng, Muller, Kroos.
BAYERN (4-1-4-1): Neuer; Lahm, Martinez, Dante, Alaba; Schweinsteiger; Thiago, Robben, Gotze, Ribery; Mandzukic.
First, let's delve right into our teams.
Bayern Munich vs Arsenal at the Allianz Arena. Can the Gunners do the impossible? Join me, Keeghann Sinanan, for the blow by blow action!
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