The best teams in the world struggle to contend with an in-form Bayern Munich side, so our injury ravaged team getting something out of this game was always going to be a big ask. With Laurent Koscielny and Hector Bellerin out of the game at the last moment, and our right flank looking a little weak, it was bound to be difficult.
We got off to the worst possible start, with Robert Lewandowski ending his mini goal drought (two games without a goal. Rubbish, right?) with a goal after eight minutes. Gabriel Paulista was in for Koscielny, and we immediately missed the Frenchman. The team attempted to deploy an offside trap when there was absolutely no pressure on the ball, and Lewandowski was able to knock a header past Petr Cech after being kept onside by Gabriel.
It looked as though we had hit straight moments later, with a fluid attacking move resulting in Mesut Özil slamming a Nacho Monreal cross past Manuel Neuer. The goal was ruled out for handball though, and replays showed that while it was close, it was unfortunately the right call.
It was fairly end to end in the first 20 minutes, with both sides looking most dangerous on the counter. The home side were taking advantage of two-on-ones wherever possible though, with Alexis Sanchez and Joel Campbell failing to track back enough.
Bayern got a little lucky for their second goal, but unfortunately it really took the wind out of our sails. A cross was lofted over to the far post, where Kingsley Coman swung wildly at it. He completely mishit it, but it fell right at the feet of Thomas Muller. The German forward scuffed his shot badly, but it deflected off Per Mertesacker and past Petr Cech.
Holding out until half time at 2-0 could have changed things, but we weren’t able to do so. Just before the whistle went David Alaba scored a fantastic goal, wrestling the ball away from Santi Cazorla in midfield and being given far too much space. He rifled a shot towards goal from distance, with Cech given absolutely no chance.
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We were far better in the second half, and were matching Bayern stride for stride. The comeback never really looked on, but we were at least giving a better account of ourselves.
There were a couple of good chances for us to get a goal, but we were unable to capitalise – Santi Cazorla in particular missed a golden opportunity.
Second half substitute Arjen Robben then unfortunately made it four, applying the finish to an attack with his first touch.
We grabbed a consolation goal with 20 minutes to go, Olivier Giroud the scorer. The French forward had been excellent all evening, and really deserved his goal. Mesut Özil – who had also been superb – played a neat ball to Alexis Sanchez, who picked out Giroud in the box. He plucked it out of the air with some fine chest control, volleying home acrobatically under pressure from two Bayern defenders.
We were pushing for more late on in the game, despite things looking hopeless. Thomas Muller unfortunately got his second of the game with a few minutes to go, a fine finish beating Cech at his near post.
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It wasn’t the worst performance in the world, but Bayern were really on form. We were punished for our mistakes, and injuries meant we really weren’t at our best.
We just need to forget the result and our Champions League ambitions for the moment though, and concentrate on Tottenham this weekend.