Arsenal 0 – 2 Bayern Munich player ratings by KJ
What an unbelievable start by Arsenal. Arsene Wenger had surprised many by giving Yaya Sanogo just his second start. Along with a rampant Jack Wilshere and Oxlade-Chamberlain, the youngster inspired the Gunners and we really got Bayern on the back foot. When Ozil was fouled in the box in the 8th minute, the Emirates was rocking.
But then it all started to unravel. With Arteta and Ozil off the pitch, Ozil stepped up and made a right pig’s ear of his penalty, allowing Neuer a simple save. As much as that rocked Arsenal and the fans, it encouraged Bayern who started to look like what we expect.
I don’t know about you lot but I am really nervous about this one. Maybe I am being way too optimistic but for some reason I have a feeling that Arsenal can upset the odds and get a win over the Champions League holders Bayern Munich tonight. To be honest, I would be quite happy with a boring 0-0 draw which would be a great result to take to Germany.
Bayern have a couple of injury problems and for some reason have chosen not to start with Muller. Mandzukic comes in, which our BFG should be pleased about because it gives him someone to mark. Their midfield looks strong, though, with Martinez, Thiago, Kroos, Gotze and Robben.
Arsene Wenger has identified one of the major reasons why Arsenal were knocked out of last season’s Champions League by tonight’s opponents Bayern Munich. Apart from the obvious things like them being a brilliant team that is. The Frenchman is known for worrying more about his own team’s preparations than planning specifically for the opponents and it is at home where he saw the problems last year.
Wenger feels that the key to avoiding a repeat of last year’s 3-1 home defeat is in the mental approach of his players. He feels we panicked a bit after losing an early goal and, by chasing the game, left ourselves exposed to a counter attack, which is one of Bayern’s many strengths.
Let’s not kid ourselves Arsenal fans, Bayern Munich are strong favourites to retain their Champions League crown this season for good reason. They may be without Franck Ribery, Shaqiri and Badstuber but they have an awesome array of talent and the Gunners, as Per Mertesacker declared, will need to perform brilliantly and for things to go our way if Arsenal are to make the quarter-finals.
A good performance and result at the Emirates tonight will go a long way to achieving that and there are three key elements that I feel could swing the game in our favour. Firstly, the referee. I am not going on about bias or English teams being picked on. My name is not Manuel. What I mean is the style of refereeing we get tonight.
Get your thinking caps on and your crystal balls and tarot cards out Arsenal fans, because it is competition time again. Bayern Munich are the visitors to the Emirates tonight in what could well be the most difficult game of the season for the Gunners.
Our road to progression in the Champions League is blocked by a giant German ogre who are odds on to sweep Arsenal aside as they did with Barcelona last season, but Arsene Wenger will be hoping that his team can repeat the heroics of Munich from last season and cause a huge upset. Of course, our home performance against Bayern was far from heroic and if we play like that again, it promises to be a long and painful night for Gooners everywhere.
Arsenal vs Bayern Munich Preview, line up and predicted score by KJ
Arsenal couldn’t have asked for a tougher Champions League draw but I guess we put ourselves in this predicament when we failed to get a result against Napoli. But, we have beaten Bayern before and with a better team than last season, hopefully we can give Bayern a good game and maybe nick a result.
I say nick a result as that’s what it’s going to be. We will be defending resolutely for the majority of the game and will need to counter quickly and effectively without over-committing. It’s a lot easier to say than to execute but those are the guidelines we’ll need to follow if we are to get a positive result.
Arsene Wenger must be delighted to have some options up for for Arsenal, no disrespect to Nicklas Bendtner. An impressive debut from young French striker Yaya Sanogo in the FA cup win over Liverpool, as well as the well-publicised off-field problems of Giroud have made this a realistic question.
Logic would tell you that a knockout Champions League game against the current holders Bayern Munich would be too big a match to start Sanogo in, but you could have said the same about the Liverpool game, especially after the beating they gave us at Anfield and the pressure on the club. The lanky striker showed no fear at the weekend and his confidence must be high.
Oxlade Chamberlain is the star of the show! by Ash
Arsenal normally has at least one young Gun to light up the league with their performances over the course of the season and this year it is no different. Originally we thought it was Aaron Ramsey, almost a reborn player coming back from a long injury lay off and it’s after effect. But after Ramsey was injured again this season, it paved the way for another long term returnee, Alex Oxlade Chamberlain, to make his way back into the team and start grabbing the headlines. But there is talk in the papers that Arsene Wenger is thinking of replacing him with Rosicky for the Bayern game.
When Arsenal were drawn against Bayern Munich for the first knockout stage of the Champions League, it was no surprise to most of us. The Gunners have had the worst result in almost every draw we have been in so far this season, but these things happen and you just have to make the best of it.
Guardiola recognises Arsenal’s threat! by Ash
Arsenal will tomorrow face probably the toughest opponents that we have come face to face with all season. The champions of Germany and the Champions of Europe, Bayern Munich, will be visiting the Emirates for a crunch Champions League clash for the first leg between the two.
Arsenal will no doubt be nervous, but we have improved since last year and I’m sure we can put up even more of a fight. Whilst rather surprisingly, it seems that our opponents too are slightly worried about this game. Thomas Muller has previously stated that Arsenal will not be easy, whilst today manager Pep Guardiola has stated that there is a lot of respect for this current Arsenal side.
Fabianski to face Bayern? by Twig
After the Arsenal game against Liverpool and Fabianski’s MOTM performance, many people remarked how very unlucky Fabianski was to be second choice. In most clubs Fabianski is good enough to be first choice, but the player unfortunately finds his chances limited by his fellow countryman who has been one of the best keepers in the league this season. On Wednesday, most people will begin their preferred line-ups starting with “Szcz..”, and probably the manager too, but there are a number of very good reasons why Wenger should persist with Fabianski for
the second game running.