Bayern defeated Arsenal in the first leg of champions league tie of round 16 yesterday in their home stadium by 3-1. Hardcore arsenal fans won’t be surprised at this result after Arsenal’s exit to championship side Blackburn in FA cup on saturday continued with Arsene wenger completely lost his cool in the press conference ahead of the clash. On the other side, Bayern entered into match with a lead of 15 points from second placed Borussia Dortmund after 22 matches in league with a bonus of team conceded least in the top European leagues this season with just 7 goals conceded.
Team Line up:
Arsenal Failed in Midfield:
Control of a match is won in midfield. They control the game, orchestrate moves, act as link between forwards and defenders. Arsenal played with Arteta, Ramsey, Wilshere, Cazorla all are agile, good ball players with good sense of passing. But if take a more close analysis on characteristics of these players, none of them are well known for defending. Arteta played as defensive midfielder who also has the responsibility to bring ball from back in absence of a defender capable of bringing ball from defense.
Arteta and other midfielders failed to keep the line between defense and midfield intact. First goal from Bayern exposed players of Arsenal’s understanding in their duties. For that goal, Arsenal had six players in the defensive line to play against three, leaving huge space between defense and midfield for Kroos to open account for Bayern at 7th minute of game and chasing Bayern for the entire game.
When Arsenal succeeded in crossing the water tight midfield line formed by Bayern, forward line were isolated with no option other than trying all by player himself. There were couple of instances where Sagna had to do his best by himself after Bayern neatly blocked all his path for option to pass.
Arsene Wenger admitted of hope reaching into next round with second leg pending, saying Arsenal should concentrate on top four finish in English Premier league after their loss.