Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Champions League: Rampant Arsenal shoot down mighty Bayern Munich

Arsenal 2-0 Bayern Munich

By Jim Van Wijk

Published 21/10/2015

Heads we win: Olivier Giroud scores Arsenal’s
Heads we win: Olivier Giroud scores Arsenal’s opener

Olivier Giroud came off the bench to help give Arsenal a 2-0 win over Bayern Munich and keep alive their Champions League hopes.

The Germans had arrived at the Emirates Stadium in imperious form following a new Bundesliga record of nine consecutive victories and leaders of Group F with maximum points from two European ties.

However, Arsenal, who had lost their first two matches to sit bottom of the table, produced a resolute display and took the lead on 77 minutes when Giroud headed in after a mistake from goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who had earlier produced a brilliant save to deny Theo Walcott.

German playmaker Mezut Ozil scored a second in stoppage time to seal the win, his close-range effort given by the fifth official after Neuer had clawed the ball back from over the goalline.

"We did well until the goal and defended really well. Bayern Munich will have the ball, they are very good in possession and they finish with 70 per cent of the ball," said Giroud.

"They dominate the game, but we knew that and we were able to finish it off.

"We needed this win to stay in the Champions League and try to qualify for the next stage. We have to thank Petr Cech too - he had a fantastic game."

The Gunners, though, still have it all to do to qualify for the knockout stages and next travel to Munich in two week's time.

Bayern supporters held a protest at ticket prices for the opening five minutes - the slogans declaring 'without fans football is not worth a penny' - and were applauded from the home ends when they eventually took their seats.

Arsenal made a bright start, as Ozil found himself with space for a shot from the edge of the Bayern penalty area after a driving run by Alexis Sanchez, but Neuer got down at full stretch to save.

The hosts were then carved open down the right on 11 minutes as a clever one-two from Thomas Muller released Thiago into the box and his snap-shot was beaten away by Cech.

The Germans, who have scored 38 goals in their 12-match winning run in all competitions this season, continued to dominate possession and Cech was called on again to parry away a lofted effort from Arturo Vidal.

Arsenal, though, had a great chance to take the lead on 33 minutes.

Nacho Monreal whipped a ball in from the left, which Walcott sent goalwards with a bullet header from six yards. Neuer threw out a strong hand to somehow claw it off the line, with Aaron Ramsey unable to scramble the loose ball in at the far post.

Arsenal resumed the second half with spirits raised from their positive spell, but were soon back on the defensive as the busy Douglas Costa sent a 20-yard rising drive just over.

Wales midfielder Ramsey pulled up with what looked like a hamstring injury on 57 minutes and was replaced by England's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Bayern were in again when Robert Lewandowski was played clear on the right side of the Arsenal penalty area, but Cech made a superb save with his chest to send the ball over the bar and deny the in-form Poland forward.

It proved a crucial intervention as Arsenal snatched the lead with 13 minutes left.

A deep free-kick from Santi Cazorla caused panic in the Bayern box, where Neuer was caught in no man's land, flapping at the loose ball and Giroud, just on for Walcott, was perfectly placed to bundle a stooped header into the empty net.

With the clock running down, Lewandowski turned into the right side of the penalty area, but delayed his shot under pressure from Laurent Koscielny.

Arsenal broke deep into stoppage time, with Hector Bellerin scampering away down the right. His low cross was side-footed goalwards by Ozil.

Although Neuer pushed the ball out and Oxlade-Chamberlain scuffed the rebound over, the additional assistant correctly ruled Ozil's shot had crossed the line.

"It was a game of top quality," said Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

"We played with disciplined intensity. Both keepers made great saves.

"Petr Cech was a key figure. He was intelligent, everything is classy. There were two world class goalkeepers out there tonight."

Belfast Telegraph

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph