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Sunday, 17 March 2013

Arsenal beat Bayern but fail to progress in Europe

Arsenal put in a first class performance on Wednesday night as they managed to beat Bayern Munich 2-0 at the Allianz Arena. The win meant the aggregate score finished 3-3. However this was in Bayern's favour as they had scored 3 away from home in the first leg so they progressed to the quarter-finals. There was still plenty to be proud of though as with a far from full strength side they managed to beat a team almost invincible at home, managed to score 2 against a formidable defence for the German side this season, whilst also managing to keep a team with players such as Robben at bay in keeping a clean sheet. There were plenty of changes to the starting XI as Lukasz Fabianski made his first Arsenal appearance for a year whilst Kieran Gibbs returned from injury. Both were very solid, as was Jenkinson at right back and the central defensive partnership of Koscielny and Mertesacker. There was also a place for Rosicky who came in for the injured Jack Wilshere.
Koscielny capped off a MOTM display with a late goal
The first chance of the game came on two minutes and it ended up as a perfect start for Arsenal. Tomas Rosicky fed Walcott down the right who then swung the ball in towards Giroud who was left with a tap in.

Bayern's first attempt on goal came from the boot of Toni Kroos as he drove a shot from distance which resulted in an easy save for Fabianski.

The German side were now starting to find their rhythm but they fired two shots over the bar in quick succession through Gustavo and Martinez.

Arsenal's passing was very sloppy and the ball was then gifted away which resulted in a shot from Kroos on the edge of the area. However, Fabianski was equal to it once more.

The Gunners were living dangerously as Mertesacker cleared the ball straight to Muller who then hit the post from a tight angle.

The score at half time was 1-0 to Arsenal on the night and 3-2 to Bayern on aggregate.

The first attempt on goal in the second half came from Robben as he weaved his way towards the box before firing the ball inches wide of the goal.

Toni Kroos was the next player to have a shot on goal. However Fabianski wasn't needed this time though as the ball flew wide.

Arsenal's first attempt of the half saw Giroud chest the ball and then smash an effort from range over the bar.

Bayern were desperately looking for a goal to seal the tie. Gustavo then came the closest as his bending shot curled just wide.

It wasn't as big as the next chance though as Robben played a one-two with Muller before bearing down on goal and then seeing his shot brilliantly saved by Fabianski.

The Gunners were struggling to create many chances but then got one through Gervinho as he turned past Van Buyten before poking the ball wide.

Fabianski was then forced into making another save as Muller turned his man before blasting a shot towards goal which was well kept out.

With 5 minutes left to play Arsenal scored to give themselves hope. Santi Cazorla's corner found Koscielny who headed the ball home to make it 2-0 on the night.

However it wasn't to be as the final score finished Bayern 0-2 Arsenal with the German side going through on away goals rule 3-3.

The teams lineups:

Bayern Munich: Neuer, Lahm, Van Buyten, Dante, Alaba, Martinez, Gustavo, Muller, Kroos(81), Robben, Mandzukic(73).
Subs: Starke, Rafinha, Contento, Tymoschuk(81), Shaqiri, Pizarro, Gomez(73).

Arsenal: Fabianski, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Arteta, Rosicky, Ramsey(72), Walcott(72), Cazorla, Giroud.
Subs: Mannone, Vermaelen, Coquelin, Diaby, Arshavin, Oxlade-Chamberlain(72), Gervinho(72). 

My man of the match: Laurent Koscielny

Referee: Pavel Kralovec(CZE)
Attendance: 66,000

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