The Round of 16 of the Champions League provides a lot of interesting match-ups on paper like PSG-Barcelona, Bayer 04-Atletico, Sevilla-Leicester, but one to highlight is Bayern-Arsenal. This marks the 4th consecutive edition that the Germans and the English face off. Bayern has absolutely dominated Arsenal by eliminating them twice in the knockout rounds and defeating them 5-1 in the group stage of the 2015-2016 tournament. It seems as if these two teams are destined to see each other at some point of the season, and Arsenal wanted to prove to the world that this time things would play out differently.
Although Arsenal was very intense in the first few minutes, Bayern only needed one opportunity to get on the board with a signature Arjen Robben left-footed strike in the 11th minute making the game 1-0. Arsenal would get a penalty in the 37th minute after the captain Laurent Koscielny was fouled in the box by Robert Lewandowski. Alexis Sanchez missed but later converted his mistake in to a goal after Manuel Neuer's save. The half would end 1-1 in what looked like a fairly even game.
Things went completely down hill for Arsenal in the second half. In the 49th minute, Laurent Koscielny was subbed out with a hamstring injury which left the Gunners' defense for dead. Robert Lewandowski scored the second for Bayern in the 53rd minute after Phillip Lahm put a spectacular cross in the box. Thiago Alcantara would extend the Bavarains' lead with two more goals and the freshly-subbed in Thomas Muller put the finishing touch in the 88th minute making it 5-1.
Arsenal had no response to Bayern's non-stop attack. Alexis Sanchez looked exhausted and not only physically, but mentally as well. He was the only one that was pressuring Bayern's defense, getting back possession, and creating chances. Mesut Ozil was cold and lackluster, the wingers (Alex Iwobi and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain) never joined the attack, and when Olivier Giroud came in 77th minute, the score was already 4-1 so he couldn't do much to help. The game plan wasn't very clear, and Arsene Wenger is to blame. It seems to be a constant in big games for Arsene Wenger, bad and vague game plans. Wenger has been managing Arsenal since 1996 and they are yet to win a Champions League and are on the verge of being eliminated in the round of 16 once again this year.
Is this the end of the Arsene Wegner era at Arsenal?
Let me know what you think. Follow me on Twitter: @PerezTBE