Well… where to start! Following defeats in previous years to Germany’s top team, we had it all to do against a team that was full of world class talent.
As announced before the game Ospina replaced Cech in goal as he is for some reason our Champions League goalkeeper. I wasn’t too against this as Cech hasn’t been that good this season and Ospina has played well and deserved the chance as a result. I can understand though why some people disagreed as you should really play your so called first choice keeper in what is the biggest competition there is.
Elsewhere Gibbs kept his place in the team instead of Monreal which I agreed with and Xhaka finally returned from his suspension. Sanchez started up front once again in a game where away goals are crucial.
Bayern started the better side as many expected and Ospina had to keep us in the game early on. However they took the lead after just over 10 minutes through ex Chelsea midfielder Robben with a great curling shot which Ospina could do nothing about. The annoying thing was that it should have been prevented as we (Coquelin) allowed him to shoot with his left foot, which is something you just cannot do.
Bayern were all over us by dominating possession and could have scored a few more were it not for Ospina. Our only option was to counter attack which was unfamiliar territory for us as we are use to being the opposite team. Sanchez was the main threat for us and almost single handedly won us a free kick in a dangerous position. Özil hit it straight at Neuer but he spilled it and we nearly bounced on it were it not for offside.
This gave us much needed confidence though and we were rewarded as soon after Lewandowski kicked Koscielny as he was trying to clear the ball. It was debateable but I thought it was a penalty and you have seen them given many times.
Up stepped who else but Alexis Sanchez once again and I could barely watch it. I was right for being nervous as he missed the penalty and the rebound before somehow scoring on the 3rd attempt which was the hardest. He showed great skill and composure to take it under control and scoring to give us a crucial away goal. It was an awful penalty but who cared as he eventually scored and Neuer is a big presence in goal to be fair to Sanchez.
The goal gave us a lot of more belief as we went for another one straight after when Xhaka’s shot was straight at Neuer after a good move in a promising position. I couldn’t believe it and really thought this might actually be the year we got past the last 16 and beat a big team.
Chances then went to both teams as Lewandowski should have scored before Özil perhaps should have done better after he hit a shot straight at Neuer just before half time. So it was 1-1 at half time and I was really happy with it especially if it stayed like that at the end.
The second half unfortunately was a completely different story as everything went wrong. It all started when our captain and our best defender Koscielny had to come off injured and be replaced by Gabriel and the rest is history!
I literally said when watching it live that we were f***** when Koscielny came off and I was right as it completely changed the game. They might have won anyway but you could tell there was a massive part of our defence missing. This was shown as it took them just four minutes to take the lead again through striker Lewandowski after a perfect cross from their captain Lahm. The latter is retiring at the end of the season so at least we won’t have to face him again another year!
Things went from bad to worse as Bayern struck again just 3 minutes later with Lewandowski again involved. He brilliantly flicked another world class retiring player Alonso’s pass for Thiago to slot past Ospina to virtually put the game and the tie to bed.
The floodgates had well and truly opened for them as our defence was all over the place and we couldn’t get the ball. They could and should have scored more and Ospina saved us a few times. He could do nothing about their next goal though as Thiago’s shot deflected off Xhaka into the net, although he almost somehow saved it.
To his credit though Ospina then saved us once again a couple of time and if it wasn’t for him it really could have been double figures. Would Cech have done any better? Bayern did eventually get a fifth though as substitute Muller (what a great squad they have) scored after only being on for a few minutes.
Chamberlain had lost the ball but we were arguably already out and I felt for him especially as he at least looked like he was trying throughout the game. There was one moment in particular where he was visibly annoyed at the lack of pressing from the team just allowing Bayern to play and he was one of few players that I respected in the game.
Only him, Sanchez, Koscielny (before injury) and even Ospina played well and players like Özil, Coquelin and Gabriel were awful. Özil especially really goes missing in the big games where he needs to step up and other players just simply weren’t good enough. I also couldn’t understand why Welbeck didn’t come on at all, what’s happened to him?
So it ended 5-1 to Bayern which was the score when we last played them and it means we are basically out of the Champions League again barring a sensational miracle at the Emirates! It is now our sixth straight defeat in the competition’s first leg which leaves us on the verge of a seventh straight exit in the last 16.
As you can imagine this result caused a lot of talk on social media about Wenger and the team and it is getting harder and harder to accept and defend him. I really want him to end on a high and not destroy his legacy too much but what will happen? Arsenal Fan TV was once again in the spotlight but is it time for him to leave at the end of the season?
I think he might have to leave as much as it pains me to say it as it’s the same thing every season now and it’s embarrassing and a joke at times. Sometimes I have no words for us and I just want us to be back to our best. Change is needed but who knows and it’s not as simple as just him leaving as the board and some players also need to go. Also will the next manager be any better?
Next up is Sutton United away (what a contrast) in what will be a famous game to say the least. We surely have to beat them but what will happen if we don’t and what team will Wenger put out?!