- Champions League
- 19 February 2013, 7:45pm
- Emirates Stadium
FULL-TIME:Arsenal have been blown away by brilliant Bayern at the Emirates. Podolski pulled a goal back against his former club to give his side some hope in the second half, but Mandzukic restored his side's two-goal advantage to put Bayern on the verge of a place in the Champions League quarter-finals. I look forward to Wenger's press conference...
90 mins:Three minutes added on.
88 mins:Vermaelen is fouled by Lahm a couple of yards outside the Bayern area down the left. Lahm is booked before Cazorla's free-kick into the mixer is cleared.
85 mins:It's all gone flat now for the Gunners. Wilshere is trying to push his side forward but Bayern look comfortable.
82 mins:Nearly a fourth for Bayern. Gustavo's low shot towards the corner is kept out by Szczesny. Gomez is first to the rebound but he blasts his effort over from a right angle.
79 mins:Wilshere drives into the Bayern area and unleashes a shot on target, but it's straight at Neuer who beats the ball away.
78 mins:That's Mandzukic's final contribution as he's replaced by Gomez.
77 mins: BAYERN RESTORE TWO-GOAL LEAD!Just as Arsenal were fighting their way back into the game, Bayern go up the other end and score a third. Robben releases an overlapping Lahm, who plays in a low cross which deflects off MANDZUKIC's heel and loops over the line. Sagna may also have got a touch. Mandzukic certainly didn't mean it but he won't care about that.
74 mins:Bayern make their second change as Kroos is replaced by Gustavo.
73 mins:Giroud almost scores with his first touch! The two subs are immediately involved. Rosicky's long pass finds Walcott down the right. His low cross is met first time by Giroud, but the Frenchman's vicious strike from 10 yards is blocked (or rather just hits) a perfectly-positioned Neuer.
72 mins:Double sub for Arsenal as Giroud and Rosicky replace Podolski and Ramsey. I'm a bit surprised Podolski has been withdrawn. Bayern fans will be glad to see the back of their old player.
70 mins:Podolski turns inside the Bayern box and drills the ball towards the far post but Bayern clear the danger.
68 mins:And now Ramsey's in the book after conceding a free-kick about 25 yards from Arsenal's goal. Schweinsteiger hits the set-piece over. Bayern have responded well since Podolski's goal.
66 mins:Podolski now has a goal and yellow card against his old club after a high tackle on Robben. Rick from Didcut says, "Suso's a bit unfair on Arsenal, saying they'll be responsible for Uefa reducing our CL places [see 46 mins]. I think Man City and Chelsea are more culpable. At least Arsenal got this far."
64 mins:Bayern make the first sub of the night. Ribery, who has been the German side's biggest disappointment, is replaced by ex-Chelsea man Robben.
63 mins:Martinez rises above Szczesny on the edge of the six-yard box but heads the corner over. Arsenal's keeper was nowhere near that.
62 mins:Kroos cuts inside from the left and fires in a swerving shot which Szczesny is forced to tip over.
58 mins:The atmosphere has completely changed inside the Emirates as Neuer is forced to punch clear Walcott's free-kick after Muller is shown a yellow card for a foul on Podolski.
55 mins: LIFELINE FOR ARSENAL!The Gunners are back in it! From the corner which should have been a goal kick, PODOLSKI heads in against his old club after the Bayern defence inexplicably let the ball bounce across their six-yard box. Really bad defending. It must be spreading!
54 mins:Cazorla lines up a shot from 25 yards and his strike deflects wide off Podolski. However, the officials award a corner. They must have forgotten Podolski left Bayern a few years ago.
50 mins:Wilshere finds himself in an advanced position and rifles in a shot from the edge of the box, but Dante gets his body in the way to block the ball. Neuer still hasn't had a save to make.
47 mins:Early corner for the visitors but Kroos' delivery is headed away from the Arsenal box.
46 mins:Bayern get us back underway. No changes for Arsenal. Suso from Belfast says, "What's the point of Arsenal being in the competition every year? They're just asking for Uefa to take a spot off the Prem League."
HALF-TIME:We're only a quarter of the way through this last-16 tie but Arsenal's Champions League hopes are already hanging by a thread. They have been outplayed by Bayern and now have a mountain to climb to turn this around. Neuer's goal hasn't been threatened once. I'm sticking the kettle on. Join us for the second half in a few ticks.
45 mins:Almost lights out for Arsenal! Lahm lifts a superb cross into the box which is met by Mandzukic, but his firm header shaves the outside of the post. Szczesny looked well beaten. Two minutes added on.
41 mins:Arteta threads a clever pass through to Sagna down the right. The full-back chips in a cross towards Walcott but he can't quite get his head on the ball.
38 mins:Decent spell for Arsenal as Walcott sees a shot blocked inside the area after an unfortunate slip from Alaba presented a chance to the Gunners. You get the sense, though, that Bayern are just toying with Wenger's boys.
36 mins:Yellow card for Schweinsteiger after a foul near the halfway line. That rules the midfielder out of the second leg. Hey Nick think David Moyes is in line to replace him," says Ghetly [see 27 mins].
33 mins:Sight on goal for Mertesacker. Wilshere's free-kick into the Bayern box drops to the German defender, but his volley is charged down and cleared away.
30 mins:Bayern are kind enough to let Arsenal have a spell of possession but the Gunners are struggling to carve out chances. Lots of you are admiring the German side's display. "Bayern are just teaching Arsenal a lesson and there could be a lot more goals," says Tom. Griff from Battersea adds, "I thought Bayern were overated. I was wrong."
27 mins:Bayern have been excellent so far. On this evidence you can see why they're being touted as one of the favourites to go all the way. Nick from Bacup says, "As a bemused Everton fan looking on at all the Wenger haters, just one question: who do you want to replace him? The word ungrateful springs to mind."
24 mins:Now Arteta is yellow-carded after clattering into Mandzukic. Arsenal are completely melting. "Will this be Wenger's last match if Arsenal lose?" asks Ghetly from Bombay.
22 mins:Sagna joins Vermaelen in the book after a reckless challenge on Kroos inside the Bayern half. That's pure frustration.
21 mins: FROM BAD TO WORSE FOR ARSENAL!So simple for Bayern as MULLER doubles their advantage. An unmarked Van Buyten gets on the end of a corner and heads the ball goalwards. Szczesny keeps the defender's effort out but Muller is quickest to reach as he stabs the ball in from underneath the crossbar. It's going to be a looooong night for the Gunners.
20 mins:Bayern are starting to dominate possession as they take command of this last-16 tie. Lahm drives down the right and plays in a dangerous cross which Koscielny clears behind at the near post.
16 mins:Schweinsteiger strikes the free-kick but it deflects wide off one of his team-mates. Ben texts, "Bayern will progress over the two legs. Arsenal have been punching above their weight for far too long. This will be the last Champions League match at the Emirates for a long time."
15 mins:Rash challenge from Vermaelen as the Belgian defender slides in late on Martinez and gets a yellow card. Free-kick to Bayern in shooting range...
13 mins:Arsenal are trying to use Walcott's pace to get in behind the Bayern defence. He twists past Lahm with a jinking run but the attack breaks down when the ball reaches Sagna on the right.
10 mins:That's really rocked the Gunners who had settled well in the first five minutes. Bayern win a free-kick about 25 yards from the Arsenal goal, but Van Buyten's low shot is blocked by the wall.
7 mins: BAYERN TAKE THE LEAD!Forget what I just said about Arsenal's bright start. Muller fires the a hopeful ball across the Arsenal box. KROOS arrives on the edge and meets it sweetly on the half-volley, striking the ball into the ground and past Szczesny. Lovely finish but Arsenal should have dealt with Muller's cross.
5 mins:Bright start by Arsenal. They clear a corner and again break down the right. Walcott chases a pass and plays a teasing ball across the box which Bayern clear behind.
3 mins:Arsenal break down the right as Wilshere picks out an unmarked Cazorla with a reverse pass. The Spaniard drives towards the box and sends in a low cross but it deflects through to Neuer.
0 mins:The Gunners get this first leg underway. Beware the wounded Arsenal? Twiggy from Ross-on-Wye texts, "Arsenal 3-1, and, as I've got a bit of Pole in me, Poldoski 1st goal. Woof!"
1930:Not much love for Monsieur Wenger tonight. Ian from Eastbourne, says, "Wenger must go! Humiliated v Bradford, humiliated v Blackburn. We will be humiliated tonight 4-0. No pride. Off to watch local football loads of pride and passion." Chris from Exeter adds, "No pity for Wenger. Few tears for under-performing AFC players. Every sympathy for Arsenal fans. If Arsenal lose 4, 5, 6, 7-0, will Wenger still be arrogant enough to stay?"
1921:As for Bayern's team, Mario Mandzukic is preferred to Mario Gomez up front, while former Chelsea winger Arjen Robben is left on the bench. Franck Ribery, Thomas Mueller and Toni Kroos start for the Bundesliga leaders.
1908:So no Olivier Giroud in the Gunners side which means Walcott gets his wish of playing through the middle. Captain Vermaelen shifts to left-back as January signing Nacho Monreal is ineligible and Kieran Gibbs remains injured.
1900:Good evening and welcome to our live Champions League coverage from the Emirates. Arsene Wenger recalls his big guns for tonight's last-16 first leg, with Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott, Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey, Per Mertesacker, Bacary Sagna and former Bayern employee, Lukas Podolski, back in the XI. Wojciech Szczesny, Thomas Vermaelen, Laurent Koscielny and Mikel Arteta are the only players to keep their places from the humiliating FA Cup defeat to Blackburn.
- Champions League
- 19 February 2013, 7:45pm
- Emirates Stadium
Arsenal face an immense challenge if they are to qualify from the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League after a 3-1 first leg defeat by Bayern Munich at Emirates Stadium.
Away goals from Toni Kroos, Thomas Muller and Mario Mandzukic added to the pressure on the already under-fire Arsene Wenger as his side were largely outplayed and were left on the brink of elimination.
A second-half header from former Bayern player Lukas Podolski had given Arsenal, who were embarrassed by Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup at the weekend, some hope at 2-1 as they threatened a comeback.
But runaway Bundesliga leaders Bayern, unbeaten in 19 games in all competitions, are now very strong favourites to reach the quarter-finals ahead of the second leg in Germany on 13th March.
Wenger must now lift his beleaguered players for the Premier League run-in, where they face crucial games against Tottenham Hotspur and Everton in their bid to salvage something from the campaign with a top-four finish to again play among Europe's elite clubs next season.
The high-octane opening atmosphere from the home support fell flat as Bayern, some 15 points clear at the top of the Bundesliga, grabbed a crucial away goal on seven minutes, when Muller's cross from the right was not dealt with and Kroos crashed the ball off the turf and past Wojciech Szczesny from 18 yards.
It was 2-0 after just 21 minutes when Daniel van Buyten's header at a corner the near post was parried by Szczesny, and Muller stabbed the ball straight back in back into the net from close range.
Arsenal were in danger of being overrun, with few cool heads as first Bacary Sagna and then Mikel Arteta were shown yellow cards for clumsy challenges.
Having left the field to a cacophony of boos from their own beleaguered fans, Arsenal needed to regroup at half-time.
The Gunners suddenly sparked into life on 55 minutes when Podolski, who had a disappointing three-season spell at Bayern, headed in Jack Wilshere's incorrectly-awarded corner at the far post after goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who had conceded just once in eight matches, had wandered into no-man's land.
Bayern then scrambled what could be a tie-clinching third goal on 77 minutes, with substitute Arjen Robben sidestepping Thomas Vermaelen before releasing Philipp Lahm on the overlap down the right.
His cross flew through the six-yard box, where Mandzukic got ahead of Sagna, the ball looping up off the Bayern striker's shin, over the goalkeeper and into the net.
Some Arsenal fans had seen enough, and headed for the exit, unsure of when they might see Champions League football at the Emirates again.