Three things from Arsenal’s incompetent loss at Bayern
For 45 minutes, Arsenal looked primed to cast its Round of 16 demons aside in favor of a sunnier UEFA Champions League outlook.
It took just 10 minutes for the dark clouds to gather and then downpour on the Gunners, as Bayern Munich scored three goals in 10 minutes en route to a 5-1 rout at the the Allianz Arena.
[ RECAP: Bayern Munich 5-1 Arsenal ]
Here’s what stood out from the blowout:
Lewandowski: From the basement to the penthouse
Polish striker Robert Lewandowski is known for collecting Bundesliga golden boots, not marking in his own end. It didn’t look like a major foul when Lewandowski’s follow through on a missed clearance felled Laurent Koscielny, but a penalty was awarded and it led to Arsenal’s first half equalizer.
The big man made amends by putting the Bavarians ahead when he rose above Shkrodan Mustafi to head past David Ospina, and made it 3-1 with a clever flick into the path of Thiago Alcantara in the 56th minute.
Arsenal fails to hold its nerve
Playing Bayern at the Allianz Arena means there are going to be multiple periods of time that require holding your poise.
The Gunners managed that early in the first half, but fell apart in the second. Specifically and surprisingly, it can be pinned on Shkrodan Mustafi.
Moments after Laurent Koscielny subbed off injured for Gabriel Paulista, it was Mustafi that was victimized twice.
First, Mustafi lost his positioning and was out-leaped by Lewandowski -- no major error here -- as Bayern made it 2-1. Then, Thiago Alcantara raced by the German defender to get on the end of Lewandowski’s flick and make it 3-1. With moments, this felt out of control.
A fourth goal was inevitable. The fifth? Not surprising.
Ospina choice rendered moot
There was some question before the match as to whether Arsene Wenger should’ve altered his plan to start David Ospina in order to use first choice keeper Petr Cech.
It didn’t matter.
Ospina made several saves on the night to stop the match from being 7-1 or 8-1 instead of simply 5-1 (yes, again). If you’ve got an Arsenal supporter who wants to tell you Cech would’ve mattered, buy him another one.