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Arsenal 0-2 Bayern Munich: Match analysis

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The Champions League is the ultimate stage for Europe's top clubs to show off their talents. That is exactly what Bayern Munich displayed on Wednesday night, as they were superb and efficient as usual.

Arsenal, by contrast, were outclassed and are still to prove that they are up to the demands of beating the Champions League's so called 'big boys'.

However, they did have things go against them:

Ozil penalty miss:

This was a huge chance for Arsenal within the first ten minutes. With regular penalty takers Mikel Arteta and Olivier Giroud not on the pitch at the time, it was up to Mesut Ozil to put the spot-kick away.

The German had already missed a penalty this season, with his effort being saved by Marseille keeper Steve Mandanda. Ozil had a similar casual approach to this penalty, with his tame effort lacking any conviction and power and was easily saved by keeper Manuel Neuer. Ozil never seemed to recover from that setback and looked a shadow of the player that was ripping through defences at the start of the campaign.

Szczesny Red Card:

This was no doubt a decision that changed the complexion of the match. For 35 minutes, the Gunners were causing problems to a Bayern defence that has so far been solid throughout the season. The impressive Yaya Sanogo forced a top save from Neuer and Ozil winning a penalty was certainly a cause for optimism for the fans.

When Wojciech Szczesny brought down Arjen Robben, it was clearly a penalty despite the Dutchman making more of the challenge than was necessary. The big call was the red card. By the rules, the referee was obliged to send the Polish 'keeper off.

However, myself and many others for sure would argue that there should not be a rule to send a player off in that situation. It makes no sense. If a player is denied a goalscoring opportunity, then surely he is getting that opportunity back by winning the penalty. It is virtually a double punishment.

As a result of this, the game was ruined as a contest, despite David Alaba missing the resulting penalty. It is always extremely difficult to get back into the game with 10 men against a team like Bayern. It was from then on an uphill task for Arsenal.

Gibbs injury:

Another harsh moment on Arsenal was the injury suffered to Kieran Gibbs, who's balance of defence and attack has turned him into a top class left-back this season. The England international had a superb opening 30 minutes until he was forced off.

The injury introduced Nacho Monreal, who was less solid. The Spaniard was caught out several times by the pace of Robben and Mario Gotze and this exposed him down Arsenal's left-hand side, with both of the Bayern assists coming from that area.

Lack of possession: 

After the red card, Arsenal were dominated at their own game. Bayern enjoyed 78% possession for the whole game, with 863 passes being attempted by the Germans, compared to only 222 being attempted by the Gunners.

In addition to this, just to emphasise the domination of Bayern's midfield, the outstanding Toni Kroos attempted 127 passes in the Arsenal half alone, with 96.1% of them being completed. Arsenal's highest attempted passer on the whole pitch was Jack Wilshere, whoses total was 30, combined with a completion rate of just 66.7%.

The second half was utter dominance. Arsenal only had 12% of possession throughout, which is almost unheard of in any match at the Emirates Stadium and against a team such as the Gunners.

As a result of this, the Arsenal players were worked into the ground and were tiring considerably towards the end. Mathieu Flamini ran over 13 kilometres with Wilshere running 11.8 kilometres and Ozil 11.7. The only Bayern member in the top five of distances covered was Gotze who ran 11.68 kilometres.

Tiredness can have a serious effect on anyone's game and this was certainly evident here. It just shows how possession is such a key factor in a game of football.

Overall, Arsenal were played off the park by Bayern but many Arsenal fans will wonder what might have been had Ozil scored the penalty and Szczesny had not been sent off.

It's left the Gunners with a mountain to climb if they are to qualify for the quater-finals of Europe's greatest club competition.

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Topics:
Bayern Munich
Arsenal
UEFA Champions League
Football

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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