Recap: Bayern Munich all-but secured their place in the knockout phase of the Champions League after putting on a master class to leave Arsenal’s hopes of progressing hanging by a thread. A 5-1 scoreline did full justice to Bayern’s dominance, with their grip on the game and a fine consolation strike by Olivier Giroud only arriving long after the result had been decided.
Robert Lewandowski started the rout from Thiago’s cross, before Muller’s deflected effort made it 2-0 before the half-hour mark. Shortly before the interval David Alaba struck a stunning effort from distance to ensure the second half was largely immaterial. As it was, Arjen Robben made an immediate impact off the bench, turning a cross into the net less than a minute after coming on. After Giroud’s acrobatic volley, Muller then ensured Bayern fittingly had the last word.
Arsenal were without a host of players due to injury, and they missed them badly. Without Laurent Koscielny and Hector Bellerin at the back, Arsenal’s defense lacked the security they showed when beating Bayern 2-0 in London two weeks ago. And lacking the speed of Theo Walcott up front, Arsenal were unable to offer any threat to Bayern on the break or provide any relief against the wave of attacks from the home side.
But, even against an Arsenal team at full strength, Bayern may well have come out comfortably on top. With Thiago dictating play, they controlled the tempo and then picked holes in the Arsenal team, particularly out wide, at will. The damage could have been even worse.
As it is, Arsenal now need to win both their remaining games, against Dinamo Zagreb and at Olympiakos. And they will need to overturn Olympiakos’ 3-2 win at the Emirates, meaning they will have to win in Greece by two clear goals, unless it is a high-scoring affair. But that won’t even be enough, if Olympiakos get even a point at Bayern Munich in three weeks’ time.
For Bayern not to go through, they would both have to lose that match and then get beaten by Dinamo Zagreb by at least five goals. That isn’t going to happen. Bayern will take their place in the Champions League’s last 16, and, on the evidence of Wednesday, they will take some stopping.
FULL TIME: Bayern Munich 5-1 Arsenal
A dominant victory for a hugely impressive Bayern Munich side against an injury-hampered and overmatched Arsenal. It would now take a miracle for Bayern not to make the last 16. It isn’t quite that dramatic for Arsenal’s hopes of progressing, but they now need Olympiakos to fail to get anything in Munich and then to beat the Greek champions away from home, likely by a two goal margin, on the final match day.
92 mins: And the news gets worse still for Arsenal, with Olympiakos going 2-1 up against Dinamo Zagreb.
GOAL! Bayern Munich 5-1 Arsenal (Muller, 89 mins)
It is five for Bayern now, and that was oh so easy for the German champions. Douglas Costa just sauntered right through the heart of the Arsenal team before playing in Muller, who finished with his customary precision to beat Cech at his near post and grab his second goal of the night. You couldn’t say the scoreline isn’t a fair reflection of what’s transpired in the Allianz Arena.
87 mins: Calum Chambers comes on for Santi Cazorla for Arsenal’s final substation. Alex Iwobi replaced Olivier Giroud moments earlier.
86 mins: Another chance for number five goes begging for Bayern. Debuchy again rescues Arsenal, shepherding Muller away from goal when the Bayern man looked poised to score.
83 mins: Robben wastes a glorious chance to make it 5-1 to Bayern. The substitute is played clean through on the Arsenal goal, but Cech manages to slow him up as Robben goes round him, allowing Debuchy to get back and make a desperate saving challenge. Robben wants a penalty, but Debuchy’s challenge looked clean.
77 mins: Some impressive play from Coquelin in the first minute. First his fine footwork in midfield from Francis Coquelin sets Arsenal forward, but Sanchez has his shot easily blocked by the Bayern defense, Moments later Coquelin’s cross finds Cazorla in a good position in the box, but the Spaniard fails to make clean contact with his shot. Bayern have certainly switched off in the closing stages.
GOAL! Bayern Munich 4-1 Arsenal (Giroud, 69 mins)
It almost certainly won’t count for anything, but that’s a fine strike from Giroud. Sanchez floats a ball into the box and Giroud chests it down while holding off Jerome Boateng before acrobatically volleying past Neuer. The French striker rather hopefully rushes to get the ball out of the net and get the match back underway.
68 mins: As results stand, Bayern would also be effectively through to the last 16, as it would leave Dinamo Zagreb needing to beat Bayern by at least five goals to have any chance of overhauling them.
65 mins: While Arsenal and Bayern continue to play out time in Munich, Olympiakos have equalized against Dinamo Zagreb. That would put the Greek champions onto seven points, four in front of Arsenal.
63 mins: This may be a painful experience for Bayern, but the other result in the group continues to go their way. Dinamo Zagreb remain 1-0 up on Olympiakos, meaning Arsenal would be in charge of their own fate going into the last two matches.
61 mins: Another glimpse of something positive for Arsenal, Monreal finds himself in the Bayern box, but the left-back can’t keep his feet after going past Alaba.
59 mins: Arsenal make their first substitution, replacing Campbell with Kieran Gibbs. Arsenal just trying to prevent any further damage now.
58 mins: Arsenal produce their best move of the match, calling Manuel Neuer into action for the first time as he blocks Santi Cazorla’s effort.
GOAL! Bayern Munich 4-0 Arsenal (Robben, 55 mins)
Well, that was a pretty swift impact from Robben. Just seconds after coming on and with his first touch, Robben turns the ball into the roof of the Arsenal net to further Bayern’s dominance. Again the trouble came out wide for Arsenal, with David Alaba allowed to overlap unchecked down the left, before astutely picking out Robben six yards out.
54 mins: The news doesn’t get any better for Arsenal. Arjen Robben has just come on to join the Bayern attack, replacing the lively Kingsley Coman.
52 mins: Douglas Costa twists and turns his way into the box, cutting easily inside Nacho Monreal. Arsenal are relieved that his shot deflected behind for a corner, which the visitors are able to clear. The Bayern attacks keep coming, though.
50 mins: That was a little better from Arsenal. Sanchez takes up the fight and cuts in from the left, but his shot is blocked by a Bayern defender. It’s going to take something special from the likes of Sanchez and Ozil to give Arsenal any kind of lifeline in this match.
47 mins: Bayern are already back on the attack. Xabi Alonso hits a shot right into the midriff of an Arsenal defender.
SECOND HALF KICKS OFF: Bayern gets the match back underway. No changes from either side during the interval.
Alaba's wonderful goal:
HALFTIME Bayern Munich 3-0 Arsenal
The three points are surely already wrapped up for Bayern. Pep Guardiola’s side have been simply majestic in the opening 45 minutes, completely dictating the tempo through the middle and then exposing the gaps in Arsenal’s team out wide. At the other end they’ve barely been threatened, with Arsenal carrying nothing like the same threat on the break with Giroud rather than Walcott up front. The injuries have really hindered Arsenal both at the back and up front, but Arsene Wenger will be disappointed that his team has neither been able to sit back and contain Bayern or pressurize them. The scary thing for Arsenal is that you get the impression Bayern could yet step it up another level or two. Oh, and they still have Arjen Robben and Arturo Vidal waiting on the bench.
GOAL! Bayern Munich 3-0 Arsenal (Alaba, 44 mins)
Indeed a third goal was on the way, and it’s one that embodies the performance of both sides. David Alaba, belying his starting position of a left-back, is allowed to drift forward through the middle, easily shrugging off Santi Cazorla, and then, not closed down, the Austrian curls a brilliant effort into the top corner of the net from 25 yards. This is a chastening experience for Arsenal; Bayern are in a different class.
42 mins: Cech has to make an even better save, reacting quickly to turn over Muller’s snap shot from the center of the Arsenal penalty area. A third goal looks to be on the way.
41 mins: Cech is called into action once more, getting down to hold onto Muller’s shot from the right of the box.
40 mins: There’s nothing right now to suggest that Arsenal can get back into this match, however. It’s like a training session for Bayern right now, completely dictating play and finding holes, particularly out wide, almost at will.
38 mins: While things are going badly for Arsenal in Munich, there is a ray of hope from Greece, where Olympiakos are trialing 1-0 against Dinamo Zagreb. If results stand, Arsenal would remain just three points behind second place and have their fate still in their own hands going into the final two matches.
Here's a video of Muller's goal:
GOAL! Bayern Munich 2-0 Arsenal (Muller, 29 mins)
It’s a typically opportunistic goal from Thomas Muller. Coman tries to strike Phillip Lahm’s cross goalward, but it cannons off Debuchy for Muller, who strikes first time left-footed, and, with the help of a deflection off the knee of Per Mertesacker, it squeezes past Cech at his near post. Bayern now in total command now.
28 mins: A slight chance for Campbell after Bayern allow Sanchez’s cross to bounce in the box, but the Arsenal man can’t react quickly enough to manufacture an effort at goal or find a teammate.
24 mins: Campbell, who could have given away a penalty earlier, now gets handed the game’s first yellow card for again bringing down Coman. The youngster is causing Arsenal a lot of problems down their right side.
23 mins: As in the first leg, Arsenal are trying to strike Bayern on the break, but it’s a much more difficult prospect with Olivier Giroud as their striker rather than the lightning quick Theo Walcott. Together with a patched-up defense, it will take something special for Arsenal to get back into this.
20 mins: Xabi Alonso has just taken one of the most hilarious corners you’re ever likely to see. The Spanish World Cup winner struck the corner flag rather than the ball, and won’t want to see that again in a hurry.
And here's Ozil trying to get away with elbowing the ball into the back of the net:
Here's a video of that goal from Lewandowski:
17 mins: Bayern are well on top now, causing a lot of trouble for a much-altered Arsenal defense. Lewandowski now tests Cech with a header.
15 mins: Campbell escapes a nervy moment in the Arsenal box, as the Costa Rican brings down Coman. The Arsenal man is very lucky not to have been penalized there.
12 mins: Arsenal think they have an immediate equalizer through Mesut Ozil, but it’s been ruled out for handball! Replays show that’s a correct decision, with Nacho Monreal's cross being directed into the net by the elbow of Ozil, which made a clear move toward the ball.
GOAL! Bayern Munich 1-0 Arsenal (Lewandowski, 10 mins)
Thiago Alcantara was given too much space cutting in from the left to pick out a dangerous cross to the back post, and Gabriel stepped out erroneously to allow an onside Lewandowski a free header past Cech from close range.
9 mins: Unsurprisingly, it’s Bayern Munich dominating possession in the early stages. Arsenal are sitting back, happy to contain and strike on the break, limiting Bayern to ambitious efforts from distance so far.
7 mins: Bayern test Petr Cech for the first time, with the former Chelsea goalkeeper holding onto a fierce effort from David Alaba.
7 mins: A couple of times already, Arsenal have tried to utilize Joel Campbell’s pace down the right, but Bayern have dealt with the threat so far.
5 mins: For the time being, Kingsley Coman and Douglas Costa are lining up on opposite flanks, with Coman on the left and Costa on the right, giving them the chance to cut in.
1 min: An early effort for Arsenal, inside the first 25 seconds. Bayern allow the ball to fall to Giroud in space on the edge of the box, but the French striker strikes well wide on his left foot. It's a big night fir Giroud as he looks to take his chance in place of the injured Theo Walcott.
KICKOFF! Arsenal get the match underway.
2:42 p.m. EST: The players are out at the Allianz Arena, ahead of what is close to a must-not-lose match for Arsenal.
1:50 p.m. EST: There’s yet another injury blow for Arsenal, with Laurent Koscielny ruled out of the match due to a hip injury. He joins Hector Bellerin, Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Danny Welbeck, Tomas Rosicky and Mikel Arteta on a lengthy injury list. Mathieu Debuchy, as expected, replaces Bellerin, and Gabriel steps in for Koscielny. After an impressive first Premier League start against Swansea on Saturday, Joel Campbell keeps his place on the right flank.
— Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) November 4, 2015
1:45 p.m. EST: The Bayern Munich team is in, and the major news is that Arjen Robben is only included among the substitutes. The Dutch winger has only recently returned from a spell on the sidelines, but played the full 90 minutes last Friday against Eintracht Frankfurt. Kingsley Coman, on loan from Juventus, will instead line up on the right wing, while Arturo Vidal also has to settle for a place on the bench.
Preview: Arsenal may have secured a thrilling 2-0 win over Bayern Munich two weeks ago, but it may well end up counting for precious little unless they can earn another positive result when taking on the German champions at the Allianz Area on Wednesday. After beginning their Champions League campaign with back-to-back defeats, Arsenal needed a win against Bayern just to keep their hopes alive of progressing to the last 16 for a 16th straight year. But there remains plenty of work to be done.
Trailing both Bayern and Olympiakos, who host Dinamo Zagreb on Wednesday, by three points, Arsenal could well be left relying on other results to go their way in the final two matches, should they suffer defeat in Munich. Counting in Arsenal’s favor is the fact that on their previous visits to the Allianz Arena, in 2013 and 2014, they came away with a victory and a draw.
However, Arsene Wenger won’t need reminding that those results ultimately proved fruitless, with Arsenal still crashing out on aggregate in the Round of 16 ties. And this time around Wenger also has to cope with an ever-mounting injury crisis. After Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain joined Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and others on the sidelines this week, right-back Hector Bellerin has now been ruled out of the trip to Germany.
Bayern still have their own injury concerns, with Franck Ribery, Mario Götze and Sebastian Rode all out. But since the first leg they have been boosted by the return of influential Dutch winger Arjen Robben. After coming through 90 minutes in the Bundesliga on Friday, the 31-year-old is now set to make his first Champions League appearance this season.
Head coach Pep Guardiola will be aiming for Bayern to get back to winning ways after Arsenal ended their perfect start to the season and then on Friday Eintracht Frankfurt halted their 10-game winning start to the Bundesliga campaign. A victory against Arsenal would take the Bavarians to within touching distance of a place in the Champions League knockout phase.
Check back here when the match kicks off at 2:45 p.m. EST for video highlights and live score updates.