Champions League

Arsenal Out Of Champions League Despite Beating Bayern 2-0

Oliver-GiroudIn one of their best European performances in years, Arsenal beat Bayern Munich 2-0 at the Allianz Arena tonight, but were knocked out of the Champions League on away goals (3-3).

Arsene Wenger will rue his teams defensive mistakes at the Emirates in the first leg as tonight the made the Bundesliga champions elect look very ordinary. In that first leg in London, Bayern won 3-1, and were odds on favorites to progress.

Needing three goals to progress Arsenal got off to the perfect start just three minutes in when Tomas Rosicky found space, Theo Walcott fired in a cross and Oliver Giroud drilled his shot into the roof of the net, seized the ball and sprinted back to the halfway line.

Suddenly the only noise you heard in the Allianz Arena were the Arsenal fans as Bayern were clearly rattled by Arsenal’s early goal. Remember it was less than a year ago that this Bayern side lost in the Champions League final at home against Chelsea, and the players, along with their fans seem a little fragile.

It was still 1-0 at half-time and Arsene Wenger had to be ecstatic by his sides performance. Thomas Rosicky, who took the place of the injured Jack Wilshere behind Giroud, was at the centre of everything that Arsenal did well and back-up goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski did not have a lot to do.

In the second half it was more of the same. Munich controlled possession, but poor final passes kept offering Arsenal some hope that they could get another goal.

The best chance that Bayern had to score was when Arjen Robben got in behind the Arsenal defence, but he fired straight at Fabianski. For how porous the Arsenal defence has looked in recent games, the make-shift back line was solid tonight.

Gervinho then came within inches of adding Arsenal’s second, but his shot rolled inches past the back post with Manuel Neuer well beaten.

Then with four minutes left in the game Arsenal scored again when Santi Cazorla’s corner was header home by Laurent Koscielny,

But despite late Arsenal pressure, they could not create another chance and Bayern were relieved to hear the final whistle.

So mixed emotions for Arsenal fans. A terrific performance that is right up there with the Gunners best away performances in Europe.

But there also has to be feeling of where has this type of Arsenal performance been all season? Where was it in the League Cup and FA Cup when they were knocked out by teams from lower divisions? If Arsenal had played like this all season, they would not be in 5th place in the Premier League.

As for Bayern, this was a bitterly disappointing performance. As brilliant as they were in the first leg, was as poor as they were tonight. After the 1st leg, many pundits had Bayern as favorites to win the Champions League. After this performance, there is a big gap between themselves and PSG, Barcelona, Real Madrid and even Bundesliga rivals Borussia Dortmund.