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There was a distinct buzz around Holloway yesterday evening as the Arsenal faithful walked up to the Emirates stadium. As we entered the ground it seemed very strange seeing red and white in the away end. The home crowd were very loud and passionate. “North London Forever” rang out into the night sky.

The team were unchanged from Brighton except at left back where Kiwior came in for Zinchenko. There were a few muttering around me that they’d have preferred Tomiyasu.

Raya, White, Saliba, Gabriel, Kiwior, Rice, Jorginho, Ǿdegaard, Saka, Havertz, Martinelli.

The referee was Glen Nyborg from Sweden, handling only his sixth CL game and his first knock out game. He was to have a significant impact. Familiar faces were all around on the Bayern side, Kane, Dier (both roundly booed all night), Leroy Sane, Manuel Neuer inter alia.

Very early on (8th minute), Alphonso Davies picked up possibly a harsh yellow card following a heavy tackle on Saka. He will now miss the next leg next week.

We opened the scoring with a wonderful goal from Saka. Ǿdegaard to Saka, to Havertz to White who played an excellent pass in the area to Bukayo. Taking barely a touch, he curled the ball into the far corner.

Arsenal 1-0 Bayern Munich (Saka 11)

On 16 minutes, White was laid in and had a clear shot at Neuer. Unfortunately he hit it straight at him. Arteta afterwards said this was a “critical moment in the game”.

We were in complete control. But just following this we let in one of those goals we were so familiar with in 2023, but thought we had eliminated in 2024. The ball was punted forward from the Bayern penalty area. It looked easy for Gabriel, but Raya had rushed forward to within 10 yards of the half way line. This seemed to throw Gabriel who, denied the simple pass back to his goalkeeper, tried to find Kiwior ahead of him. He slipped slightly, causing the ball to miss Kiwior and gave the ball away to Sane. He played a great ball to Goretska who slipped it to Gnabry who scored. An awful goal to give away. What was Raya doing?

Arsenal 1-1 Bayern Munich (Gnabry 18)

Kiwior had been having a hard time against the electric Sane. On the half hour he was tight against Sane on the touchline on the halfway line. He was rolled and Sane was away. He ran into the box where he was eventually tripped by Saliba. A clear penalty. In the CL you get punished for losing the ball.

Arsenal 1-2 Bayern Munich (Kane, pen, 33 minutes)

We haven’t been in this situation for a long time. And it almost got worse. Counterattacking again, Sane was left unopposed to run into our half. Ǿdegaard slowed him down just enough for Ben White to make a magnificent saving tackle in the box. A big moment. We were staring 3-1 in the face. What had happened to our impregnable defence?

HT Arsenal 1-2 Bayern Munich

At half time, the beleaguered Kiwior was swapped for Zinchenko. Still no Tomi (in retrospect this was a good move when we had to chase the game). On 54 mins, Kane threw an elbow at Gabriel and hit him in the jaw. He was given a yellow card, but for me it was a straight red. The referee bottled sending off the England Captain. He looked around to size up where Gabi was, didn’t jump (so no need for leverage) and made hard contact to the face. VAR was finishing his half time coffee and had nothing to say. But it was an indication that perhaps this game was too big for this ref.

On 65 minutes the subs began. Amazingly, for me, Sane was hooked for Comen. He had been their best player and didn’t look injured. For us Jesus and Trossard came on for Martinelli and Jorginho.

Straight after the subs, Raya seemed to take a goal kick to Gabriel, who picked it up and put it back on the six yard line. Bayern players screamed for a penalty. I don’t know, but it was possibly another indication of a lack of focus in our defence. Anyway, nothing given, play on, not even mentioned by the TNT commentators. On 68 minutes the excellent Gnabry limped off with a possible hamstring injury. Let’s hope it keeps him out of next week.

Arsenal pushed forward. The crowd roared them on. Bayern players flopped to the ground at every opportunity, slowing the game down. On 76 minutes the ball went to Jesus, five yards outside the area. He jinked left and right, drove into the area and made a perfect square ball to Trossard who swept it first time into the corner of the net. A brilliant goal, made by the subs combining. Chaos in the crowd.

Arsenal 2-2 Bayern (Trossard 76)

More subs. Partey on for Havertz (who had an excellent linking game). Five minutes of added on time. Our hearts stopped as we went past 90 mins as Musiali got to the byline, and cut it back. Coman made a great run, flicked it goalwards, it went through Raya’s legs and hit the post! Phew!

And so to the most controversial moment of the game. First Ǿdegaard was flattened by Davies just outside the box. No foul given. Then, from a great vertical ball from Partey, Saka was in the area and running at Neuer. He went down from the goalkeepers challenge. 60,000 throats screamed for a penalty. Rio Ferdinand (no friend of Arsenal) was sure it was a penalty. So did Martin Keown. So, from row 9, most assuredly did I. Neuer clearly moved his right leg towards Saka and made contact. Nothing given. Full time.

FT Arsenal 2-2 Bayern Munich

In the cold light of day, that penalty is given 8/10 times. Make that 10/10 for Harry Kane.

So we scored two great goals, conceded two silly goals and had the character to come back from a losing position. We will learn from this. Bayern were very good. It was a great game. But there is all to play for in the second leg. We can beat them over there.

41 Drinks to “Arsenal feel robbed but all to play for in Munich”

  1. 1
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Excellent report Countryman. Summed up what I saw and your last paragraph has it in a nutshell. Top stuff.

    All focus on Villa now.


  2. 2
    Ollie says:

    Cheers, C100! Davies’ card wasn’t particularly harsh, but that’s as seen from the comfort of the sofa!
    We definitely can win over there. Just need to show the same defensive steel we have shown in all our away matches in 2024. Also, away goals not being taken into account will work in our favour this time, should the score stay 0-0 (or 1-1) for a long time.

  3. 3
    Countryman100 says:

    So you’ve seen my views, now here are Mike McDonald’s always interesting thoughts.

    What to make of that? (Positives Needs & Hopes)[ARS 2-2 BAY]

  4. 4
    BtM says:

    I haven’t read Mike’s thoughts yet but I agree fully with yours. Disappointing defensive lapses but everything to learn and then play for in the next game. I’ve seen us win there before in a 0-2 game. No reason we can’t do that again.

  5. 5
    Ollie says:

    I think I very much agree with MMD on the penalties, except for the Sané one: that was pretty much nailed on.

  6. 6
    North Bank Ned says:

    A very fair report, C100. CL football is not the same as PL football. There is no substitute for the experience gained from playing in those games. For most of the team, this was the biggest match of their club careers. I think Mike McDonald is right that that brought out some unaccustomed nervousness. Like him, I was surprised that Zinchenko and Jesus did not start for that reason. Fitness levels may have played a role in Arteta’s selection of his starting lineup, and, to be fair, the starting XI did OK until the mistakes. You are right to highlight the role of Sane’s pass to Goretska in the first goal. It was world-class. Yet that is the level of skill you get in a CL quarter-final. The first sentence of your ultimate paragraph says it all. Onto Munich with good cause to hold hopes high.

  7. 7
    Esso says:

    Cheers C100!

  8. 8
    TTG says:

    That was a very fair ,absorbing and accurate report on a strange game . An interesting one but a game that wasn’t easy to categorise . Mike also captures part of the essence of our performance well.
    If I hadn’t seen us play at the Emptihad I’d be dreading Munich and would feel we weren’t quite as good as some are saying. But Citeh are much better than Bayern and we shut them down almost completely . I think we give some weird goals away at home – since Christmas we’ve had Kiwior’s own goal, Gabriel’s own goal against Liverpool and the Ramsdale blooper . They are really the only goals we give away .
    I think Raya was jumpy last night and unsettled the defence . He also virtually presented Kane with his penalty . Kiwior was out of his depth against Sane and Declan would have been much better used in shielding our back four. I’d play him and Partey in a double pivot next week with Tomi at left back . I’d play Jesus wide in place of Martinelli who doesn’t look fit with Trossard as a potential sub where he excels . Kimmich had Martinelli in his pocket . Havertz was our best player and also worked back really well and Saka did really well- classic trademark Saka goal.
    Totally agree with you and Mike about Harry ‘ he spits when he talks’ Kane- snide bastard. I actually thought the ref was very good but had little help from VAR . Saka was fouled and I agree with Mike on the Gabriel handball. Sane was too quick for our defence and I think he was fouled.
    Confidence is a fragile plant . I hope we don’t lose the swagger we’ve had this year but reports of Bayern’s demise were much exaggerated

  9. 9
    Trev says:

    Thanks C100, I also completely agree with your final paragraph – and also with GSD’s comments in the previous bar.

    Having said that – and I know GSD disagrees – I put the blame for their first goal fully at Raya’s feet. What was he doing there ? Gabriel was under no great pressure and with a simple back pass the danger was gone. Raya’s position caused all the confusion that found the ball in the back of our net.

    He worries me. I get that without his penalty saving heroics against Porto we may not have reached the quarter final. However, for me he has no presence, his positioning often bothers me because of his lack of height, and he often looks jittery and hurried when deciding where to pass out from goal.

    yes, we have the best defensive record in the Premier League but that is down to the superb players in front of him. He actually has very little to do in most games. When he does, he looks a bag of nerves and I agree with TTG that he unsettles our defence.

    he is my big worry in an otherwise brilliant team.

  10. 10
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:


    I don’t think Raya was in a good position last night, you are right that if he’d held back then Gabriel would have had an easy pass back to him. I think the keeper misjudged how far the ball would come and expected it to roll through further to him. But it wasn’t some sort of terrible aberration to see him there, he is instructed to play very high, and it would have come to nothing if Gabriel had played a better ball to Kiwior, or just hoofed it out. No one came out of that looking good.

    Generally though, he doesn’t bother me. He does a lot of proactive things very well, like taking crosses (his numbers are the best in all of Europe by a huge distance) which contribute directly to the low number of shots he faces. For all that i like Ramsdale, he brings an element of Jens-like mania to proceedings that I don’t think suit this team. We need a calm keeper, more ice than fire.

    Also, as ever, I trust Arteta, who is happy with him. And we are about to drop £30m on him, so I think we will have him for at least another season, unless we make another surprise keeper upgrade, and I always find it easier to make peace with players when I think they are gonna be in the team regularly, rather than get wound up by them every week.

    His save from Enciso was really good. If he pulls out a few more of those before the end of the season then I think most people will be happy. A few spectacular moments go a long way to making people’s perceptions of keepers. Ramsdale is a good example.

    If there is a better keeper (with the right skillset for this team) who we could get our hands on then I’d be perfectly happy to do so. I do agree that Raya isn’t top, top quality. He takes a lot of crosses but can be bullied a bit, especially at corners, and sometimes his kicking deserts him.

    I just think he suits the team well and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and he doesn’t make me jumpy like he does you, so I’m happy enough with him. I’d upgrade left back, central midfield, wide forward and striker before I looked at upgrading the keeper, so he’s not a priority worry for me.

  11. 11
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    As much as I was pretty miffed we didn’t get a penalty at the end, I love that Arteta glossed right over it.

    From a mindset point of view, I think we had a very good shout for a penalty that we haven’t dwelt on, preferring to focus on the aspects of our performance we can improve in the next game. That’s the right attitude.

    Contrast that to Bayern, who have been wittering on that they should have been given a penalty for a nothing incident when a misunderstanding meant Gabriel retook a goal kick, to no advantage, when no Bayern player was anywhere near the ball and a penalty would have been a ludicrous punishment. They look desperate and whiny. Almost like they know that they need cheap decisions from the ref to get past us.

    We will be ready for them in Munich.

    Also, I’m damn glad the away goals rule has been scrapped. I think we play the same game that we did against City except we take our chance(s) and aim for a 1-0 to the Arsenal.

    Still, the players will all be focused on Villa before then, which will be a different type of match, and one we are more practiced at.

  12. 12
    Countryman100 says:

    Dino’s mention of mad Jens reminds me that I saw him last night! We were paused at the traffic lights on Hornsey Road, in front of the Tollington, waiting to turn right, when he strolled past me, looking straight into our car!

    I wanted to ask him why he came charging out in the CL final in 2006 and got sent off but the moment was past.

    Looks pretty good though. Very trim.

  13. 13
    Trev says:

    GSD, yeah I meant I know you generally disagree with me about Raya – not just that specific incident.
    I know you are generally happy with him and I know that he, like all the players, is playing exactly to Arteta’s instructions.
    I also trust Arteta. I’ve said before, and quite a long time ago, I think he will become generally regarded as an absolutely elite coach. Maybe Raya was the best available to us last summer but – and it’s only my opinion – he is not on the level of the rest of our defence who do a superb job in protecting him.

  14. 14
    Ollie says:

    C100 @ 12 : ‘the moment was past’…and your lives were spared. 😂

  15. 15
    Goonersince54 says:

    Excellent summary of the game Countryman
    But I think the team selection last night told me exactly where Arteta’s priorities lie.
    The holy grail is the league title, always will be for players and supporters alike.
    Partey only on for last 5 minutes, Tomi sat on the bench, along with Jesus and Zinny.
    Those 4 are absolutely crucial to our Title hopes.
    Jesus is on one leg, will need surgery on knee in Summer, played most of must win league game at Brighton, he was never going to back up 3 days later for full 90 against Bayern.
    Zinny has to be managed, as he cannot play every 3 days with his calf issues, he wouldn’t have been on for at halftime, if scoreline had been different.
    Tomi and Partey are still getting minutes off bench in league games, getting fitter and ready for longer minutes in crucial last 7 league games, every one of which will be mentally and physically draining for all concerned., so rotation and subs will be crucial to our hopes.
    We lost Title last season because of weak bench, which couldn’t provide cover when both Tomi and Willie got crocked for rest of season during Europa league game last March.
    Look at our bench now in comparison.
    Villa game on Sunday is far more important than Bayern 2nd leg, and crucially we have a 4 day recovery period to get ready for it.
    I don’t doubt that we will go to Munich next Wednesday to try and win the 2nd leg, but I am pretty sure that post Villa match, that Arteta’s main focus will be on the Wolves away trip next Saturday.

  16. 16
    Bathgooner says:

    Thanks for an excellent summary of events that, apart from the goals and the ‘non’-penalty, I still haven’t seen. i think that you sum up well the shock I too experienced at seeing defensive ineptitude on a scale that I too thought we had left behind us. I am pleased that the body is f opinion is that we can triumph in Munich but as TTG observes, rumour of Bayern’s terminal decline have clearly been somewhat exaggerated!

  17. 17
    North Bank Ned says:

    GSD@10: A very fair summation of Raya. Who would be a possible upgrade?

  18. 18
    ClockEndRider says:

    Excellent report of an enthralling game, C100. From 36 hours distance, I think that it showed at the same time just how far we have come under Arteta- we would have been roasted in any other year- and yet how far we have to go to have a good chance of winning what is the elite competition in club football. I agree with Goonersince54 above that the focus is on the league and Arteta continues to cut our cloth accordingly. It is a huge concern in the CL competition that we need to protect serially injured players such as Tomi, Zinchenko and Partey and play players like Kiwior out of position against some of the best players in Europe. No surprise therefore that they then get exposed, whereas in the league, such a shortfall can be papered over. I expect next season we will have strengthened in all these areas and we will be ready to move on to the next level. Exciting times.

  19. 19
    Trev says:

    Well said, CER – and similarly Clive 👍🏻

  20. 20
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Adam Clery with some great analysis that, as usual, goes far deeper than what I saw.

  21. 21
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Ned. I’ve got no idea who might be an upgrade. Perhaps there are young players with a high ceiling who we could get, but in terms of keepers who are ready to come straight in and play at a higher level than Raya, I haven’t got any ideas.

    Our recruitment team are doubtless on the lookout and monitoring a few players, but I reckon we’ll keep our powder dry.

    I’d rather have a good goalie who doesn’t have to make a lot of saves than a great one who does.

  22. 22
    TTG says:

    A few months ago I was pondering the goalkeeping situation and googled an article on the best young keepers in world football. Of course a keeper doesn’t have to be young in the way an outfield player does but I was going to discover a hidden gem.
    The second best rated keeper was Meslier of Leeds. I think he is a deeply flawed keeper and if he got to second in the list I lost interest in the search.
    I quite like Trafford at Burnley but he’s been rested recently, I saw O’Leary at Bristol City play well a couple of times and I did like Kelleher at Liverpool but he has made a couple of bloopers recently .
    I used to discuss keepers with Bob Wilson but although he was goalkeeping coach he focuses on shot- stopping not distribution . He likes Nick Pope of the English keepers . My concern about Raya is that I think he has some shocking games with his feet and I think he lacks presence . Emi Martinez has presence in abundance but anyone who saw him let in five at Reading in his early days knows it is a steep learning curve .
    But ultimately like Trev I will back Arteta’s judgment although I’m far from convinced by the decisions our goalkeeeping coach has made – Runarsson anyone ?

  23. 23
  24. 24
  25. 25
    ClockEndRider says:

    TTG@22 – in answer to your parting shot, no thanks!
    C100@23 – Exactly. Anythin* that can reduce intervention from the morons of PGMOL can only be a good thing. Which still leaves the question, why did it take so long for the clubs to arrive at what was an obvious conclusion?

  26. 26
    North Bank Ned says:

    GSD@21: That is what we have in Raya, a good goalie who doesn’t have to make a lot of saves. Not having to make a lot of saves is good. Shot stopping is the weakest part of Raya’s game; he is only a little better than average at it among keepers in the Big Five leagues. Given that, the fact that he is in the top 4% for clean sheets is a testimony to the defence in front of him. In the league, he has only had to deal with an average of 2.2 shots on target each game. Even Yann Sommer at Inter, the meanest defence in the Big Five Leagues (15 conceded in 31 games), faces an average of 2.6 shots on target a game.

  27. 27
    TTG says:

    I’m pleased to see new chants coming along
    I remember being on the tube to Fulham in about 2014 and they were singing about Sol Campbell. It sounded very dated. It’s always a sign of a vibrant club when it’s spawning new chants on a regular basis

  28. 28
    Countryman100 says:

    In just the last couple of seasons we’ve seen new chants for:

    Saka (not the one with ESR)

    Martinelli already had a chant. Only ones really missing are Raya, Tomi, Partey, Jorginho, Kiwior and Trossard among regular players.

    I heard nearly all the new chants at away games first.

  29. 29
    Countryman100 says:

    Actually of course Tomi has a chant , it’s a retread of the one for Tomas Rosicky (super Tom etc). And if you count Leo! Leo! Leo! (a retread of Theo’s) so has Trossard.

  30. 30
    North Bank Ned says:

    TTG@22: It is so difficult to judge goalkeepers. There is no position that the quality of the team affects more. Before Kompany pulled him out of the firing line, Trafford, for example, had saved almost twice as many shots this season than Raya has faced (106 v 55). Ramsdale’s (deserved) reputation for shot-stopping was honed in two relegated teams, Bournemouth and Sheffield United. The demands on keepers in elite teams are so different as shot-stopping is such a smaller part of the job.

  31. 31
    ClockEndRider says:

    I am thinking of starting a petition to change the name of Liverpool’s home ground to Atalantafield.

  32. 32
    Potsticker says:

    I’d support your petition, CER. Now would be the perfect time for the wheels to fall off the Liverpool bus.

  33. 33
    Goonersince54 says:

    31 and 32
    If you had seen the starting eleven for Pool tonight, I don’t think there would have been any doubt about where Klopp’s priorities lie for the rest of the season.

  34. 34
    North Bank Ned says:

    Clive@33: I think you are right that Klopp started the game in that frame of mind, but he had his strongest available XI on the pitch after 45 minutes.

  35. 35
    bt8 says:

    Thanks c100 for your excellent and well measured review of a game that was like a glass half empty and half full. I was disappointed and elated both.

    Re GSD, “Bayern, who have been wittering on that they should have been given a penalty for a nothing incident when a misunderstanding meant Gabriel retook a goal kick, to no advantage, when no Bayern player was anywhere near the ball and a penalty would have been a ludicrous punishment. They look desperate and whiny. Almost like they know that they need cheap decisions from the ref to get past us.
    We will be ready for them in Munich.”

    I say spot on to that.

  36. 36
    OsakaMatt says:

    Belated thanks for an excellent report C100 and thanks to you and GSD for the links too.
    Like others I think we have decent shot at it in Munich, they aren’t a bad side but we gave them the two goals they got. Cut that out and win, easier said than done of course but we are certainly good enough.

  37. 37
    Countryman100 says:

    So it looks like being farewell to Charlie Patino

    Patino decides to leave Arsenal this summer as club focus on next generation

  38. 38
    North Bank Ned says:

    It would make hard-headed sense for Patino to leave if he doesn’t think he will break into the first team, as it seems he won’t. If he can find regular football elsewhere, probably in Spain, he still has a chance to build a career. Otherwise, he will find himself in his mid-20s wondering where his future went.

  39. 39
    bt8 says:

    The Arsenal-Chelsea rivalry appears to be hotting up on the women’s side what with the coaches accusing each other of male aggression and irresponsibility.


  40. 40
    North Bank Ned says:

    Leicester City are not at risk of a points deduction this season after the English Football League said it does not have the power to punish clubs for Premier League breaches.

    Why do the words piss-up and brewery come to mind?

  41. 41
    scruzgooner says: