Arsenal Football Club face an uphill task if they are to advance to the Champions League quarter-final after a disappointing 1-3 home loss against Bayern Munich.
Bayern Munich were a class above their London opponents in Tuesday’s Champions League last-sixteen tie at the Emirates Stadium and were never really in trouble. In truth, it was a result that could have been a lot worse for Arsene Wenger’s beleaguered side, as it was clear they were still suffering from the fall-out of Saturday’s disappointing 0-1 loss to Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup.
Bayern Munich came into this tie in sublime domestic form, leading the chasing pack by a whopping fifteen points. In contrast, Arsenal lie in fifth in the English Premier League and sit outside the Champions League qualification places.
Bayern were in control for the entire first half and raced into a 2-0 lead. The opener came in the seventh minute as Thomas Muller’s inviting cross evaded the Arsenal defence, allowing Toni Kroos to unleash a well-taken volley that easily beat Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny. Things went from bad to worse on the 21st minute when the dangerous Muller doubled the Germans’ lead with a close-range volley.
Arsenal were a lot more impressive in the second-half, as Bayern sat back and invited their opponents to attack. Arsenal’s perseverance paid dividends soon after, as a contentious corner was whipped in by Jack Wilshere and Podolski applied a headed finish to pull the Gunners back into the tie. Arsenal continued to improve and introduced Tomas Rosicky and Olivier Giroud as they searched for an equaliser, but their hopes were short-lived as Croatia’s Mario Mandzukic scored an all-important third for the Munich giants.
Arsene Wenger’s side were outplayed for large periods during the game and it is hard to see them getting anything from the return leg in Munich. Last night’s result all but confirmed that Arsenal would endure another trophyless season, meaning it is now seven years, eight months and twenty-nine days since Arsenal last celebrated some silverware. This is unacceptable for a major European club like Arsenal and a change is surely needed.