Last night Bayern Munich did just what they needed to do to progress to the next round of the Champions League with a 1-1 draw against Arsenal winning 3-1 on aggregate. Despite this being the closest anyone has got to beating the reigning European Champions in some time, Arsenal’s task was just too large to overcome.
The first leg at the Emirates was like an Oscar winning drama, with anything that could happen, happening. From Arsenal firing out of the blocks, winning a penalty in the early stages but the record signing Mesut Ozil missing it, to Bayern Munich do just the same thing at the end of the first half which culminated in Arsenal Keeper Wojciech Szczesny being sent off. This game had it all but Arsenal just didn’t have the strength and depth to harness the power and ability of Bayern Munich being comfortably beaten 2-0 and was the beginning of the end for the London Club.
The second leg however was much closer despite Munich knowing they didn’t need to play their strongest side from the get go after having the comfort of two away goals. However, once more Arsenal gave Bayern a real challenge at the Allianz Arena and almost repeated their feet from last season. Alex Oxlaide-Chamberlain statistically was the best player on the field making 10 attacks, more than the whole Bayern side combined, and with Lukasz Podolski scoring the Arsenal goal to equalise, at that moment that was a chance that they just might do it, especially after another penalty for Bayern being denied by Arsenal reserve keeper Lukasz Fabianksi.
Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger, rued ‘diving specialist’ Arjen Robben after the match for receiving the penalty which was, as usual, a very dramatic and over exaggerated fall to the floor after a slight nudge to his little toe. But of course, he goes down writhing on the floor and the referee has no choice but to give the penalty.
Not taking anything away from this Bayern side, they are without a doubt the best club side in Europe, with some of the best attacking players in the world and don’t need to rely on players having to dive to win a penalty just to get ahead in the game because they will almost certainly be ahead anyway. Bayern Munich will now be heading into the Champions League quarter finals, favourites to lift the trophy for a second consecutive time, and being twenty points ahead in the Bundesliga, the Champions League will be their main concentration.
Arsenal will now go back to concentrate on the Premier League and to try and finish in the top four to once again get back into Europe next season. They will also have a chance to try and win their first trophy since 2005 being the only side left in the FA Cup that are in the top 10 of the Premier League. This is something Arsenal definitely need to focus on and is surely something the fans will be craving for, but with the giant killers of Wigan in the semi-final, anything could happen.