Bayern take control of Arsenal tie after penalty drama

Bayern MunichFor the second night running, an English Premiership side fell to a 2-0 home defeat in the Champions League after going down to ten men. On Tuesday night, Manchester City had seen their hopes all but ended as they slumped to defeat against Barcelona and now Arsenal face a similarly daunting task against holders Bayern Munich.

The result could have been so much better for the Gunners had record signing Mesut Ozil converted an early penalty. With only eight minutes played, Ozil was tripped in the area by Jerome Boateng and the scene was set for Arsenal to take an early lead. However, the midfielder struck a weak penalty which Neuer was able to beat away with his right hand.

There were chances at both ends in a surprisingly open game with Szczesny pushing a superb drive from Kroos around the post. Neuer was again called into action at the other end to deny Oxlade-Chamberlain after a poor back pass.

The game swung heavily in favour of the visitors in the 37th minute when Robben was brought down by the out-rushing Szczesny in the penalty box. The Dutch winger undoubtedly made more of the incident than necessary but there is little doubt that he had touched the ball past the keeper before being felled. Szczesny received his marching orders and was replaced by Fabianski for the spot kick.

A very nervous looking Alaba eventually took the penalty but dragged it onto the post with the keeper going the opposite way. It was always going to be a backs-to-the-wall effort for the Gunners to hold out from that point and they only survived until the 54th minute. Bayern Skipper Philipp Lahm set up Kroos on the edge of the penalty area and he curled a fine strike into the top corner.

Bayern continued to dominate possession and chances came and went for Robben and Gotze as Arsenal attempted to limit the Germans to a single goal advantage for the second leg. Inevitably they began to tire in the closing stages and, just as Barcelona had done the night before, they struck again late on to all but seal the tie.

Bayern introduced Muller and he latched on to a cross from Lahm in the 88th minute to send the Bayern fans into a mass celebration. The result could have been even worse for the home side when Kroos struck a post late on but that would have been rough justice on the Gunners.

The two teams met in this competition last season with Arsenal winning 2-0 at the Allianz Arena but losing on away goals. They must now achieve a similar result or wave goodbye to their Champions League hopes for another season.

Harvey Mayson

Harvey Mayson is a professional sports writer and artist living in South West Scotland. He began working at his local newspaper in the south of England before going freelance to work on specialist sporting publications. He writes for a number of specialist sports sites both at home and abroad including football, horse racing and sports betting sites. He has also covered a wide range of sporting events such as the Paralympic Games, Euro 2012 and the Grand National. Harvey is also well known as an equestrian artist and can be contacted through his website.