Arsenal 2 – 0 Bayern Munich: Got dominated but victorious, Bellerin new fan favourite

ozil goal celebration arsenal vs bayern munich 2015

UEFA Champions League 15/16: Arsenal 2 – 0 Bayern Munich

Match review and rants by a Malaysian Gooner

Referee’s right decisions and competency allowed us to win 3-nil against Watford in a hard fought game coming back from the international break. On this night, it was the biggest challenge of the season yet, against one of the top three best clubs in the world Bayern Munich, who had never failed to win at Arsenal’s home in recent years, until now.

Although Bayern didn’t have their strongest team with attackers Arjen Robben and Frank Ribery out injured, they were still an extremely strong force with their striker Robert Lewandowski on superb record-breaking goal-scoring form recently. They dominated the possession by 70% and completed over 600 passes to our 200, at our turf, mind you. They close down efficiently and they play like machines without very little errors in build ups. Alexis Sanchez had to drop back on the left side to help Nacho Monreal defend against Thomas Muller and Lewandowski who were attacking hard on that end. Arturo Vidal was the most dangerous foe, creating a lot of defensive problems for us drifting every where from the right side.

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Alexis’ ball hogging gave away possession in our own half but thankful, Petr Cech has now settled in the club and proved that he can be consistently world class now. Although Manuel Neuer made the greater save on Theo Walcott’s amateurish point blank header, Cech had to make a lot more saves than he did. Clearly, Bayern was another level. However, despite being outplayed, outpassed and outclassed, the Gunners managed to stop them through hard team work, strong mentality and discipline. Not only we didn’t concede, we scored and won. We’ve disrupted the norms of history track record and even Lewandowski who had 12 goals in his last 5 games couldn’t score against us.

Poor Aaron Ramsey. He finally broke his scoring drought last weekend, and now he’s injured from a hamstring pull during this game. The impact came when Olivier “the handsome man” Giroud replaced Walcott and scored a controversial goal from a free kick that he knew little about. Neuer missed the ball and it went right through to our super sub, hitting his face and arm before rolling into the goal. That affected Bayern so bad that they start making poor decisions and inaccurate passes. Giroud’s strong size presence, ball-holding and passing have made the Gunners’ team play more fluent.

giroud goal celebration vs bayern munich 2015

During injury time when defence was priority, our fastest player Hector Bellerin charged down the right side, intercepting Bayern’s pass and out-ran their left back and feed the ball to Mesut Ozil whose tap-in was parried out of the goal line and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s rebound rocketed. Thankfully the goal-line technology was there to verify that Ozil’s strike was indeed a goal. Ozil celebrated a passion that the fans had never seen before from the usually expressionless midfielder. I guess he was delighted to defeat his national teammates. And how the heck did Bellerin still manage to pull that off after struggling the entire game defending on the right side? Well he’s 20 years old, fresh and knows he has quickness, and he ain’t afraid to use it. After the game against Watford, I told my friends, I really like Bellerin a lot. Today, I say how can you not love him? The winger-cum-right back is truly amazing and is still improving. Hopefully he won’t be tempted away from us in the near future.

Next up, Everton this weekend and I’m feeling confident as the team is showing fantastic progress and the morale is higher than ever before. Some say winning even when not playing better than opposing team is a sign of champions. I guess we are capable of being champions this season. Just hopefully not just FA Cup again. Seriously, let’s strike the league hard this season. Wenger, please sign a striker in the January transfer window, not just a freakin’ midfielder!

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