If we were to be beaten by Bayern, all I asked was that Arsenal had an honourable exit and no further injuries. Unfortunately, only my first wish came true.
We didn’t lose at Allianz Arena and that’s something we should be proud of. Bayern are the strongest team in the world and – despite the fact they offered us more than one chance to score in both legs – they will remain the No.1 favourites to win the Champions’ League again.
Here are key pointers from the game:
1.Wenger had a good plan on how to beat Bayern and it resembled the one he used before.
It was a kind of performance that I expected from us and it resembled slightly from what we had given last year. We sat deep and waited for the opportunity to spice things up in front of Bayern’s goal. The most important thing was to not let Bayern kill off the game by scoring early.
Last season we had to score three goals so we had to look for a goal every 30 minutes. This time we could have settled for a goal every 45 minutes but it didn’t happen. We weren’t sharp enough in the first half because we had missed a very important ingredient from last season’s victory in Munich – Theo Walcott. With him in the team, we might have caused more problems for Bayern.
2.Still, Bayern remain our Angstgeigner.
Arsene Wenger hasn’t had too many good moments when it comes to matches against Bayern. The Barvarians have knocked out Wenger’s Arsenal three times and they edged us once in the Group Stage as well (2000-01). They haven’t looked unbeatable in either of the legs but in the end, they avoided defeats in both.
3.Özil’s injury is a serious blow.
Mesut Özil didn’t have the best night of his life and was substituted at the break. I thought that Wenger had done that due to German’s poor first-half performance but it turned out Özil had a problem with his hamstring and won’t be available for at least three weeks. And, we have to face Spuds, Chavs and the Oilers during this absence.
4.We need Aaron Ramsey back.
With Wilshere and Özil out, we will need our other midfield options to be available for the forthcoming fixtures. Ramsey might be a bit rusty at first when he returns but he will add sharpness to our team and help Giroud as the Welshman makes runs behind defences. That will leave more space for the Frenchman.
5.Oxlade-Chamberlain isn’t afraid of anyone.
The Englishman has been amazing since his return from injury and his performance tonight proved once more that Wenger has a real gem in his hands. His confidence is amazing and drives him forward. He didn’t give a damn when he was playing against the reigning champions of Europe and was one of the rare players that could have made a miracle at Allianz Arena.
6.Koscielny should be more careful in the box.
Kos has been brilliant since last season’s visit to Munich – he scored our second goal that night – and he wasn’t bad last night either. However, he did concede a penalty on Robben. It’s the third time this season that Koscielny has conceded a penalty and there was at least one other example of a penalty that could have been given for his challenge in the box. Our next opponents have tricky players like Hazard and Agüero who won’t hesitate to go down if the Frenchman makes any contact with them in the box.
7.Podolski has some left foot.
Apparently, Manuel Neuer admitted that he hadn’t thought of saving Podolski’s shot but to protect his face. And, indeed, had Podolski hit Neuer with his rocket, the German goalkeeper would have needed plastic surgery. It was another glorious example of Podolski’s finishing and shooting power.
8.Lukasz Fabianski will make someone really happy.
The Pole might sign for Bayern next summer – his best performances have been that good at Allianz Arena. Fabianski has been very reliable in the last 12 months and up for the challenge whenever he has been asked to help. It’s sad to see him leaving now when he left all his frustrations behind him but it’s a bit like a break-up with a nice girl – Fabianski deserves a No.1-place somewhere else.
9.I’d like to see Diego Costa at Arsenal next summer.
With all due respect to Giroud, the Frenchman failed to score against another top team again. Diego Costa has scored seven goals in five matches in the Champions’ League this season and three of those came in the Knockout Stage against AC Milan. His character fits more with Mourinho than with Wenger though.
10.Arjen Robben is a piece of shit
It’s hard to find a more despicable player in the world than Arjen Robben. His diving skills are incredible and that word describes it on so many levels. He is an utter disgrace.
So, it was it when it comes to our European matches. We are know 10 matches away from the end of the league and 2 away from winning the FA Cup. Our next match might relieve us of all the stress – we play Spuds at White Fart Lame and if we beat them, we will secure our CL-place for next season. Let’s make it happen!