Arsenal humiliated 5-1 by Bayern Munich in the Champions League again - as fan protests increase pressure on Arsene Wenger
PUBLISHED: 21:41 07 March 2017 | UPDATED: 21:41 07 March 2017
Arsenal were again humiliated 5-1 by Bayern Munich in the Champions League tonight – as fan protests increase pressure on beleaguered Wenger.
A first half goal by Theo Walcott gave false hope to the Emirates crowd but Munich equalised after half time with a Robert Lewandowski penalty which also saw centre half Laurent Koscielny sent off.
The Germans then ran riot with goals Arjen Robben, Douglas Costa and a brace from Arturo Vidal saw the Germans win 10-2 on aggregate.
Protestors estimated at between 500 to 1000 gathered outside Highbury to register their unhappiness with manager Wenger and chief executive Ivan Gazidis tonight.
The crowd described as being ‘old school Arsenal’ then marched from Avenell Road to the Emirates singing songs demanding the long-serving manager leave the club.
There were also banners saying ‘No New Contract’ as they made their feelings known outside the Armoury.
There was also resentment inside the ground from fans – though this time form the 3,000 travelling Munich fans who hurled hundred of toilet rolls onto the pitch at kick off. They also held up banners which read ‘Greed knows no limits’ in a reference to high ticket prices.
With Arsenal 5-1 and effectively out of the tournament Wenger’s men knew they had to salvage some pride against the German giants.
Olivier Giroud was a late change for Arsenal before kick off, replacing Danny Welbeck.
The Frenchman saw a header fly narrowly wide after a looping ball from prodigal son Alexis Sanchez, back in the starting XI after being benched for the first half against Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday.
It was a warning Bayern failed to heed six minutes later Theo Walcott scored on 21 minutes to put the home side 1-0 up. The 27-year-old rifled the ball into the net at the near post for his 101st Gunners goal. Such was the ferocity of his shot it startled goalkeeper Manuel Neuer who could only raise his hands a fraction after the ball had flown over his head and into the net.
It was the least Arsenal deserved during a lively start that also saw Walcott booked after a spat with David Alaba on the touchline in front of the benches
Robert Lewandowski should have equalised with eight minutes remaining in the first half, but he pulled his right footed shot wide when clever movement saw him well placed in front of Ospina.
It was a good first half performance from Arsenal with pace, verve, good movement and high energy levels. Begging the question why couldn’t they play like that when the pressure was on during the second half in Munich?
Giroud could have made it interesting two minutes into the second half by doubling the score – but his looping header flew over Neuer’s bar, and with it Arsenal’s last chance of ramping up real pressure on Carlo Ancelotti’s men.
Seven minutes later it was all over bar the shouting – and marching – as Lewandowski drove into the box. Laurent Koscielny was the wrong side and dragged him down.
They saw beware Greeks bearing gifts – but Bayern did not refuse referee Tasos Sidiropoulous offer of a penalty. To add insult to injury he promptly sent the Frenchman off.
Lewandowski then struck the ball to Ospina’s left while the keeper – who has deputised for Petr Cech in every game in this season’s tournament if that is the right word – dived to his left to make it 1-1 and 6-2 on aggregate.
On 63 minutes Ospina then parried a powerful shot from Lewandowski who made a clever angled run into space behind the now depleted Arsenal backline.
There was worse to come five minutes later after slack defending from a goal kick saw Robben power into the box and curl a sweet left footed shot past Ospina.
Substitute Douglas Costa then broke through Arsenal’s demoralised backline to strike an equally sweet left-footed shot past Costa to make it 3-1.
And then with fewer than 10 minutes remaining Arturo Vidal cheekily chipped Ospina down the middle to make it 4-1 on the night – and a jaw-dropping 9-2 on aggregate. Vidal then slotted home a fifth to make it another humiliation – and Arsenal’s heaviest home defeat in Europe and an incredible 10-2 defeat on aggregate.
Ospina, Koscielny, Sanchez (Perez), Ramsey (Coquelin), Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Monreal, Mustafi, Giroud (Ozil), Bellerin, Xhaka,
Neuer, Hummels, Alcantara, Ribery, Martinez, Lewandowski, Robben (Costa), Rafinha, Alonso, Vidal, Alaba
Referee: Tasos Sidiropoulous
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