Arsenal 2-0 Bayern Munich: Gunners alive and kicking
Olivier Giroud jumped off the bench to bundle home the opener for Arsenal and Mesut Ozil added another late on as the Premier League side beat German champions Bayern Munich 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday to breath new life into their UEFA Champions League campaign.
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The Gunners lost both of their opening Group F games heading into this clash but Giroud’s goal 13 minutes from time then Ozil’s late strike, plus tremendous goalkeeping from Petr Cech, was enough to end Pep Guardiola’s 12-game winning streak with Bayern and lead Arsene Wenger’s men to victory.
With the win Arsenal sit in third place with three points and face Bayern at the Allianz Arena in two weeks time as they could go joint-top if they beat the Germans in their own backyard.
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The first half was full of possession for Bayern but Arsenal sat back and soaked up the pressure as the home side looked dangerous on the counter.
In the 18th minute Douglas Costa smashed a shot towards the near post and Cech pushed the ball away for a corner. In the 29th minute Arturo Vidal put a tricky shot on target which Cech beat away and Arsenal managed to clear the danger. Before half time the Gunners got going and Walcott raced clear but this shot was deflected wide for a corner. From the resulting set piece the ball found Alexis Sanchez at the back post as the Chilean forward chested the ball down but couldn’t keep his shot from soaring over the crossbar.
Manuel Neuer then made a magnificent save as Nacho Monreal’s cross from the left was headed towards goal by Theo Walcott and somehow the giant German goalkeeper clawed the ball away from the goal at point-blank range. Aaron Ramsey skewed the follow-up wide and Arsenal ended the first half well on top with Walcott’s pace causing all kinds of problems but the scores remained locked at 0-0.
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After the interval Costa took the game by the scruff of the neck as the Brazilian winger caused havoc in the box with his pacey runs and belted a shot just over the bar after dropping his shoulder to get past Francis Coquelin with ease. Soon after Robert Lewandowski smashed a shot on goal which Cech got his fingertips to as it went over for a corner and Costa sent in another shot on goal as Bayern piled on the pressure. Coquelin then blazed an effort wide as Arsenal came back into the game with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Giroud coming off the bench in the closing stages to try and grab a crucial win for the Gunners.
Late on Lewandowski raced clear after Costa played him in but just when the Polish striker looked certain to score but Cech diverted the ball out for a corner with another fantastic stop. Thomas Muller then swiveled and hit a volley inches wide of the far post but seconds later the Gunners were ahead.
In the 77th minute Santi Cazorla looped in a free kick which Neuer misjudged and Giroud bundled the ball home with a combination of his arm and his head. The Frenchman had scored just two minutes and 51 seconds after coming on. Despite pressure from the German champions late on, Arsenal double their lead as Ozil tapped home at the back post in stoppage time to rejuvenate their Champions League hopes.