Ten-man Arsenal limped out of the Champions League in embarrassing style after suffering their second successive 1-5 defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich. Theo Walcott gave the hosts a first half lead but after Laurent Koscielny was sent off after the break the German side ran riot.
The game was stopped inside the first minute after Bayern’s fans threw toilet rolls onto the pitch in a protest against the price of match tickets. The travelling German supporters also unveiled a banner that read ‘without fans, football is not worth a penny’.
Bayern keeper Manuel Neuer was forced into action in the 11th minute, rushing out of his goal to clear the ball to deny Walcott as he tried to race onto a long, early ball down the middle.
Walcott gave the Gunners a glimmer of hope on 20 minutes when he burst into the box from the right before thumping the ball into the roof of the net from a tight angle.
Arsenal had a penalty appeal waved away on the half hour when Xabi Alonso collided with Walcott on the by-line but the referee ruled the Spaniard had made contact with the ball.
The home side grew in confidence as the half went on with Walcott proving a constant threat to the German champions. The Arsenal goal scorer fired an effort into the side-netting having been picked out by a long pass by Shkodran Mustafi.
Robert Lewandowski had a great chance to level but could only volley wide after clever build up play by Arjen Robben.
— Islington Now (@islingtonnow) March 7, 2017
The Gunners came out in the second half desperately searching for an early goal but Olivier Giroud could only guide a header over the bar. At the other end, Mats Hummels saw his goal ruled out for offside.
Arsenal’s faint hopes of qualification were then all but extinguished when Laurent Koscielny was sent off for a last ditch foul on Lewandowski. Referee Anastasios Sidiropoulos had initially showed the French defender a yellow but, after consulting his assistant, brandished the red card. Lewandowski stepped up to take the spot kick and calmly sent David Ospina the wrong way.
Arsenal continued to throw numbers forward as the second half wore on which left them vulnerable to the visitors’ counter attack. On 65 minutes, Robben sprung the offside trap before rounding Ospina, but the Arsenal keeper recovered to force a corner.
Robben soon got the better of the Colombian goalie, calmly slotting home with a typical left foot finish to give the German side a five goal advantage on aggregate. Lewandowski struck the post on 75 minutes after skilful play by Douglas Costa, as Arsenal’s defence began to collapse.
Minutes later, Costa was allowed acres of space down the right before cutting onto his left foot and clinically finding the bottom corner. Arturo Vidal chipped Ospina after Mustafi’s sloppy pass out from the back, as Bayern scored two in as many minutes.
The visitors rounded off the scoring with five minutes remaining, substitute Renato Sanches laying it on a plate for Vidal to tap home his second and Bayern’s fifth.
Image credit: Amanda Lennon