Bayern give Arsenal a tonking

Highlights – Bayer 04 Leverkusen vs VFB Stuttgart

Bayern Munich took full command of their Champions League last-16 tie after hammering Arsenal 5-1 in the first leg at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday.

  • Bayern Munich 5 Arsenal 1
  • Robben gives Bayern early lead
  • Sanchez pulls Gunners level
  • Lewandowski restores hosts' lead
  • Thiago, Alonso and Muller also score

Match Summary

Carlo Ancelotti's side played some scintillating football and they opened the scoring after just 11 minutes through Arjen Robben, but were pegged back by Alexis Sanchez's equaliser on 29 minutes, although he needed three bites at the cherry after failing to score from the spot.

The second half belonged to Bayern as they dismantled the north Londoners to score four times, and it could have been more but for the heroics of David Ospina. Robert Lewandowski headed them back in front nine minutes after the restart and Thiago Alcantara made it 3-1 soon afterwards.

Xabi Alonso added a fourth on 63 minutes and Thomas Muller wrapped up the comprehensive victory two minutes from time.

Full Report

The hosts made a strong start as they hardly gave the Gunners a sniff of the ball in the opening stages, and Arturo Vidal tested David Ospina with a firm shot from just inside the area on eight minutes after winning the ball from Francis Coquelin.

Their early dominance paid off on 11 minutes when they took the lead. It was a trademark Robben goal as he collected the ball on the right and drifted inside before sending a curling shot into the top-left corner of the net.

The Dutch wizard tried his luck from the right channel again four minutes later, but his effort lacked the power to beat Ospina on this occasion.

Arsene Wenger's men started to get a foothold in the game and Mesut Ozil threatened to equalise on 27 minutes with a low free-kick that was spilled by Manuel Neuer, whose blushes was spared when the offside flag went up after the ball was deflected narrowly wide of the left post on the rebound.

And the visitors were let back into the game two minutes later when Lewandowski chose to take an extra touch instead of clearing the ball and he caught Laurent Koscielny with his boot to concede a penalty.

Sanchez's poor spot-kick was saved by Neuer, and the Chilean fluffed his rebound shot but showed great composure to chest the ball down and fire into the bottom-left corner of the goal at the third attempt.

The Bavarians looked to respond and Lewandowski wasted a good opportunity in the 36th minute when he headed over from inside the six-yard box after getting on the end of Douglas Costa's cross on the right byline.

Neuer was then called into action three minutes later as he held onto Granit Xhaka's strike from just inside the area following Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's cutback pass.

The first half finished with chances at both ends, with Mats Hummels narrowly heading wide of the target from Alonso's free-kick, before Ozil forced a sharp save out of Neuer from an acute angle on the left after being played in by Sanchez.

Bayern quickly found their stride in the second half and went back in front on 54 minutes when Lewandowski climbed above Shkodran Mustafi to guide Philipp Lahm's right-wing cross into the right corner of the net.

The Polish ace turned provider three minutes later with a neat flick from Alonso's pass to set up Thiago, who fired home from inside the box.

Lewandowski was denied a brace by the woodwork on 61 minutes as he took the ball around Ospina, who followed him and went to ground, and he lifted a shot onto the bar from the left, with Robben seeing his effort on the rebound deflected behind.

Ospina was given more work to do moments later to deny Javi Martinez, who powered a header towards the left corner from Robben's set-piece, but he was beaten again soon afterwards as the Gunners failed to clear their lines and Alonso chested the ball down before firing past the keeper with the aid of a deflection off Xhaka.

It was all Bayern in the closing stages as they threatened to run riot, with only Ospina standing in their way. He pulled of a fine save to tip Vidal's bouncing strike from distance around the left post and then denied Robben and Costa in quick succession with another two brilliant stops.

However, the Colombian had to take the ball out the back of his net again on 88 minutes as sloppy defending from the visitors saw Oxlade-Chamberlain dispossessed and Muller gleefully accepted the gift the lash his shot into the bottom-left corner to seal a deserved victory for the German champions.