Bayern Munich 0-2 Arsenal: 5 Talking Points

Arsenal gave a spirited display to earn a 2-0 win in Bavaria but were eliminated on away goals, as Bayern Munich confirmed an eighth season without a trophy for Arsène Wenger.

Olivier Giroud's third-minute opener buoyed the Gunners, who rarely threatened Manuel Neuer but doubled their lead with five minutes remaining when Laurent Koscielny nodded past the German.

However Bayern held on to reach the last eight 3-3 on aggregate and Wenger's side must now focus on securing a Champions League berth for next season.

Here's five talking points from the match...


It was a mark of Arsenal's decline that two of their senior starters were dropped in favour of supposedly inferior replacements. Wojciech Szczęsny and Thomas Vermaelen have been a danger to their own team this season, however Łukasz Fabiański and Laurent Koscielny are synonymous with the "mental fatigue" Wenger said Szczęsny is suffering from.

However Fabiański stood out as brightly as the Allianz Arena's luminous exterior and bred calmness throughout his defence. Koscielny and Per Mertesacker's positive performances were aided by the Pole, who was more vocal than usual, perhaps deliberately so given what was at stake on a collective and personal level.

Fabianski was faultless in goal for Arsenal

A new goalkeeper has been a priority for over six years at Arsenal but until the transfer window reopens, Fabiański is the best interim choice and must start at Swansea this weekend.


Martin Keown said at the beginning of the year "you had to question" whether Theo Walcott's early season form was motivated by him wanting a better contract. Immediately after he pledged his future to the club he scored four in four games, however that purple patch has preceded seven games without a goal and his performance in Munich was akin to the displays which resulted in booing from Gooners last years.

Walcott was taken off by Wenger

His canny assist for Olivier Giroud aside, he failed to engage his brain and was a constant culprit for ceding possession. The air of arrogance Walcott breathes is outrageously audacious for someone who has been a peripheral figure during the club's trophy drought era, and in Bavaria he again proved he is still a mercurial asset at best. That Wenger hauled him off for the erratic Gervinho compounded an ignominious evening for the England international.


Wenger must have cursed Jack Wilshere's injury coinciding with that of Bastian Schweinsteiger being sidelined, as Bayern struggled to replicate the control they exhibited in London three weeks ago. Their pressing game barely waned but bereft of the midfield general, Javier Martínez and Gustavo were too porous shielding their defence.

Schweinsteiger's absence was keenly missed by Bayern

Wilshere's replacement, Tomáš Rosický, was as wasteful in possession as Walcott and has never been a strong enough player under pressure, unlike the feisty Wilshere.


Despite the circumstances, Bayern did not experience an Alamo-like scenario and Manuel Neuer ironically had a quieter evening than Fabiański. Lukas Podolski would have likely played had he not been injured yet he has not been deployed as an orthodox striker by Wenger, leaving Giroud as Arsenal's outstanding figurehead.

Gervinho and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - two attackers but neither strikers - were introduced, yet they are listed as such on the club's official website. Misfits Ju-Young Park, Marouane Chamakh and Nicklas Bendtner meanwhile are all on loan.

In the 2004 FA Cup semi-final, Wenger called on a cavalry that consisted of Nwankwo Kanu, Thierry Henry and José Antonio Reyes, having started two strikers in Dennis Bergkamp and Jeremie Aliadiere. If one area spoke volumes of Arsenal's quantity over quality it is up front.


Cüneyt Çakır was extraordinarily awarded an 8.2 rating for erroneously sending off Nani, missing a handball on the line by Rafael da Silva and failing to award Manchester United a penalty when Sergio Ramos upended Patrice Evra last week. Arsenal had Pavel Královec, who didn't flourish any reds but was as card happy as David Blaine.

Wenger allowed a sarcastic clap when Královec awarded Arsenal a decision. The Czech's fellow officials were equally egregious with their decision-making as Arsenal's players became animatedly vexed with every glaring injustice. Walcott was also wrongly ruled offside when a chance was in the offing early in the second period.

Královec gave a terrible display

Hilariously, one of the few things he got right was booking Javier Martínez for a high challenge similar to - but worse - than Nani's. By Uefa's logic, he can expect an 8.0. Pierluigi Collina has a lot to answer for.

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