Bayern Munich in ‘Kroos’ control of the tie as 10-man Arsenal FC concede a two-goal lead at the Emirates in the first leg of their Champions League tie.
Arsene Wenger ruffled a few feathers with his team selection at the start of this game as he preferred Yaya Sanogo over Olivier Giroud in the starting line-up. But the home side made a bright start as they took the game to Bayern Munich in the opening 10 minutes. Arsenal should have taken an early lead as Mesut Ozil won a penalty after Jerome Boateng brought him down inside the box, but the German international’s penalty was saved by Manuel Neuer.
The game turned around after that missed penalty as Arsenal seemed to lose their early thrust. Bayern Munich gradually got into the game and took control of possession. The Gunners suffered another blow in the 30th minute as Kieran Gibbs picked up an injury and had to be replaced by Nacho Monreal and eventually that cost them a red card few minutes later. Monreal failed to pick up Robben’s run into the box as he was picked up by Kroos and Szczesny fouled the Dutch international without getting the ball. It resulted in a red card for the Arsenal custodian and Lukasz Fabianski was brought on in place of Santi Cazorla to face that spot kick. But David Alaba, like Mesut Ozil earlier, missed the penalty as well and Arsenal managed to go into the half-time break without conceding.
Second half was always going to be tough for Arsenal as they faced the best side in the world with a numerical disadvantage. Guardiola made a tactical change as he brought back Philipp Lahm to the midfield and replaced Boateng with Rafinha. Bayern took control of the game from that point as Kroos and Lahm took control of the midfield. Eventually they scored the opening goal as Toni Kroos found the top corner of the net with a wonderful strike.
While everyone was expected Arsenal to fall apart in the second half, to the credit of Arsene Wenger’s men they conceded only two goals. The last of which came in the 88th minute as Thomas Muller, who came on the second half, headed home after being set up by a lovely cross by Lahm.
Arsene Wenger felt everything went against his side last night and insisted that the early penalty miss dampened the spirit of the crowd and the players.
“Tonight, everything went against us.
“We should have been three up before they got a sniff in the game and we made big mistakes, but the spirit was fantastic.
“The penalty we missed killed it a little bit, the crowd and the positive vibes.” – The Arsenal manager said.
Wenger also questioned Mesut Ozil’s technique while taking the penalty and Szczesny’s dismissal in the first half.
“I prefer people that properly hit the ball. Everybody has their own style and you have to respect that, there is no one way of penalty taking.
“There is contact, it is a penalty, is it a red card? I have disputed that many times.
“When you have one player sent off and one injured (Kieran Gibbs), you know you are going to suffer physically.
“It’s a very difficult night but a night where the team has shown some quality and some class but at the end of the day, we lose the game.” – Wenger added.
Arsene Wenger also praised his surprise selection Yaya Sanogo and also insisted that his team must now focus on their next game against Sunderland in the league.
“I think he did very well. The overall feeling is one of satisfaction tonight.
“He worked very hard and showed commitment and quality.
“I think we had more problems when we were down to 10 men, Robben has caused problems for many players and teams.
“We will go there and have a go in the second leg.
“You never know, we won 2-0 in the second leg last year and we have to do the same again.
“From now, the focus is on Saturday and the game with Sunderland.” – He said.