Champions League: Arsenal beat Bayern Munich but tumble out of Europe
Last Updated: 14/03/13 8:29am
Arsenal restored some pride with a 2-0 victory over Bayern Munich, but bowed out of the UEFA Champions League on away goals following a 3-3 draw on aggregate.
Olivier Giroud's early goal at the Allianz Arena offered the Gunners hope of pulling off an unlikely comeback, and Laurent Koscielny nodded home late on to set up a grandstand finish, but there was to be no miracle in Munich and the quarter-finals of Europe's premier club competition will be devoid of British representation.
Bayern went into the tie on the back of formidable defensive displays and with an unbeaten home European record against English teams since Norwich won at the Olympic Stadium in the 1993 UEFA Cup.
Arsenal, though, produced the perfect start as they swept into the lead on three minutes. A slip from defender David Alaba allowed Tomas Rosicky to feed Theo Walcott on the right, and his low cross through the six-yard box was smashed into the roof of the net by Giroud.
Bayern are not used to trailing, having conceded just 10 goals in total in the Bundesliga so far, and were soon back on the offensive as Toni Kroos tested Lukasz Fabianski with a 25-yard drive.
Luiz Gustavo, in for the suspended Bastian Schweinsteiger, then fired over after the ball was only half-cleared from a corner.
Arsenal, though, weathered the storm and maintained their own threat on the counter, with Walcott the main outlet down the right and Rosicky seeing more of the ball in a central role.
The Gunners needed to score another two goals to stand any chance of pulling off the unlikeliest of comebacks, but it was Bayern who opened up the second half strongly as Arjen Robben and Kroos both fired just wide from the edge of the box.
There was brief respite when Rosicky was fouled some 25 yards out, but Santi Cazorla hit his free-kick straight into the wall.
With 20 minutes left, Wenger made a double change as Walcott and Aaron Ramsey were replaced by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Gervinho.
The Ivory Coast forward, so often maligned for his inconsistencies, almost produced a moment of magic when playing a one-two with Cazorla in the penalty area, turning his marker to stab the ball across the face of goal and just wide of the far post.
Fabianski produced another good stop from Thomas Muller as Bayern again went in search of an equaliser.
However, it was Arsenal who set up a final flourish as Koscielny headed in from a corner, with a melee following in the goalmouth as goalkeeper Manuel Neuer laid on the ball.
Despite plenty of pressure, another clear-cut chance never came and it was the Germans who progressed through to the quarter-finals as Arsene Wenger was again left to reflect on what might have been.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger concedes that a disappointing showing on home soil ended up costing his side dear.
He told Sky Sports: "The regret we have tonight is from the first game. We conceded a very bad goal in the last 15 minutes. If we had lost 2-1 at home, you can see how important that goal is tonight."
Mikel Arteta is, however, looking for the Gunners to take positives from a battling display on German soil.
The Spanish midfielder said: "Coming here, not many teams win here. They have shown that they are a top side in Europe this season, so the lads deserve credit and the boss as well because he believed from the start that we could do it. We tried our best."
Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben admits the hosts were far from their best and must look to raise their game again over the coming weeks.
He said: "I think the last few weeks, we have played some terrific football but you always have to be focused and concentrated on your own game. I hope this is a wake-up call because everyone was speaking about us and saying it couldn't be any better, so maybe this is good for the future."
|FC Bayern München||Team Statistics||Arsenal|
|0||1st Half Goals||1|
|5||Shots on Target||2|
|12||Shots off Target||2|
|58.1||1st Half Poss.||41.9|
|50.3||2nd Half Poss.||49.7|
UEFA Champions League Group A
UEFA Champions League Group B
UEFA Champions League Group C
|3||Zenit St. Petersburg||6||7|
UEFA Champions League Group D
UEFA Champions League Group E
UEFA Champions League Group F
|2||Paris St Germain||6||13|
UEFA Champions League Group G
UEFA Champions League Group H