Brutal Bayern End Arsenal’s Champions League Hopes

On November 4th 2015, Bayern Munich thrashed Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal by five goals to one in a Champions League group stage clash. At that point, nobody had seen the Gunners capitulate quite like that as Pep Guardiola’s men ran riot from start to finish.

Less than 18 months later, it happened again; the Bavarians scored four goals in the space of 25 minutes in the second half to all but eliminate Arsenal at the last-16 stage of the competition.

To be fair to Wenger’s side, Arsenal gave Bayern a decent game in the first half. While there was some controversy over the referee’s decision to award the visitors a penalty midway through the first half, the Gunners stood tall and resilient in defence; limiting Bayern to a number of long-range efforts.

In fact, that’s how the Bavarians made the breakthrough as former Chelsea man Arjen Robben cut inside onto his left foot to strike a superb trademark finish into the top corner of David Ospina’s goal. Alexis Sanchez gave Arsenal hope after converting a rebound following his penalty miss but Bayern upped their game in the second period.

Laurent Koscielny’s injury just after the break was the turning point and Bayern took full advantage as Arsenal’s makeshift back four was at sixes and sevens for the remainder of the contest. Robert Lewandowski and Thiago notched two goals in the space of three minutes to put Bayern firmly in control before the Spaniard bagged a second shortly after the hour mark.

It is testament to Bayern’s strength in depth that manager Carlo Ancelotti can leave Thomas Muller on the substitute’s bench whilst knowing full well that when he brings him on, he is capable of scoring a goal – and that is exactly what happened.

The Germany star had been on the field for less than a couple of minutes before slotting coolly past the hapless Ospina on a miserable night for the visitors. Arsenal have shown fighting spirit in previous years but it is hard to envision anybody putting four past this Bayern side on current form.

Bayern can now turn their attention back to the ongoing battle with RB Leipzig at the top of the Bundesliga; although Ancelotti’s men have started to pull away at the top in recent weeks.

The Bavarians, priced at 1/100 to win the title in the Bundesliga betting odds with bet365, are now seven points clear at the summit. Leipzig have struggled in recent months, losing four of their last seven league games and Ancelotti’s side will be confident of notching a fifth successive title.

For Ancelotti, the task is simple but it will be difficult to achieve: retaining the Bundesliga title is a must but Bayern fans want European glory and rightly so. Their form at the Allianz Arena is sublime and fans will be quietly confident of more home success in the near future.

Barring the craziest of turnarounds, the German giants have now booked their place in the quarter-finals and a favourable draw should see Bayern reach the last four. From there, all roads lead to the Principality Stadium in Cardiff as Bayern seek a sixth European Cup success.

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