Arsenal exits with respect




Lacklustre Bayern Munich advanced to the Champions League quarter-finals on Wednesday despite losing 2-0 to Arsenal in Munich to book their ticket on the away goals rule.

Champions League: Arsenal exits with respect

Champions League: Arsenal exits with respect

Olivier Giroud netted in the third minute to give the Gunners early hope after their 3-1 first leg defeat last month as they tried to become only the third team ever to advance in the knockout stage after losing the first leg at home.

Bayern recovered from the early blow, helped by Arsenal’s sloppy passing, and had a chance of their own with Luiz Gustavo firing over the bar from just outside the box after 10 minutes.

Tony Kroos also tried his luck from a distance as a solid Arsenal defence, including left back Kieran Gibbs, worked hard to keep the Bavarians well away from the box.

Bayern injected more pace in the second half and Arjen Robben, replacing injured Franck Ribery, came agonisingly close to an equaliser right after the restart but keeper Lukasz Fabianski stretched to palm his low drive around the post.

Fabianski, starting for Wojciech Szczesny who was left at home because of what coach Arsene Wenger said was mental fatigue, came to the rescue again when the Dutchman raced clear in the box and the keeper blocked his shot at point blank range.

Robben also curled another effort over the bar after jinking inside as Bayern tried to kill the tie but when Koscielny rose to head in Santi Cazorla’s corner the home side’s lack of killer instinct looked as if it might haunt them.

 

An 86th minute goal from Laurent Koscielny was not enough to send Arsenal through but restored some pride for the Gunners after their first leg defeat in London.

Bayern never reached anywhere near the level that has seen them dominate this season’s Bundesliga and when Koscielny headed in with five minutes left there was a sense of panic in the air.

Arsenal failed to grab the third goal that would have sent them through, however, and their exit means there will be no Champions League quarter-finalist from England for the first time since the 1995/96 season.

The Gunners, who are by no means sure of qualifying for next season’s Champions League, returned with their pride restored though after becoming the first English team to win away against Bayern since Norwich City in the 1993/94 season.

Quarter-finalists:
Barcelona (Spain)
Bayern Munich (Germany)
Borussia Dortmund (Germany)
Galatasaray (Turkey)
Juventus (Italy)
Malaga (Spain)
Paris St Germain (France)
Real Madrid (Spain)

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