[Player Ratings] Arsenal 1-3 Bayern Munich: Outclassed But Only Ourselves To Blame
Arsenal need a miracle to qualify after losing 3-1 to Bayern Munich in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 clash. Watch the goals from the game here.
The tie was virtually over inside 20 minutes when more horrific defending/goalkeeping gifted Bayern a 2-0 lead. It could and perhaps should have been more before the break as we failed to get a shot on target during a dismal first half that saw the visitors dominating.
Lukas Podolski’s header gave us hope and while we were better in the second half, you had the feeling Bayern were playing within themselves and eventually killed the tie with a late, if somewhat fortuitous, third.
I think this game shows exactly how far behind we are from the very best in Europe. Make no mistake, Munich are right up there with the Barcelona’s and Real Madrid’s of this world. They’re a superbly well organised, efficient and talented team and I hope they go on to win the competition (after they put us out our misery in the second leg).
For Arsenal, we need a miracle in the second leg and it’s going to take a lot to lift these players for the league game against Villa on Saturday. We were beaten by a better side and there is no shame in that, but unfortunately too many players once again bottled it and failed to show up when it really mattered. We didn’t give ourselves a chance and didn’t even give them a game really. Sloppy mistakes have cost us again and it won’t change until we sort things out, starting with the defence/goalkeeper.
Here are my Arsenal player ratings for the game:
Szczesny – 5 – Didn’t get near the first goal and should have done a lot better for the second where poor handing saw him spill a fairly routine header. Must cut out the mistakes if he’s to keep the gloves long-term.
Sagna – 5 – Booked for a rash tackle in the first half and was caught out on several occasions. Allowed Mandzukic to get goal-side for the third but was a little unlucky with how the ball ended up in the net.
Mertesacker – 4 – Poor form continues. Another terrible attempt to close down a shot, this time Kroos took advantage for the opener. For a guy who’s 6 foot 6″ he doesn’t half make himself small when someone wants a pop at goal! Passing was also poor throughout and marking from set pieces also left a lot to be desired.
Koscielny – 5 – Left to try and cover for Mertesacker and Vermaelen on occasion but not up to the task. Should have made more effort to cut out the cross for the third as well.
Vermaelen – 4 – Not a captains performance by any means. Sure he was out of position but he was well below the required standard. Lost possession up the field in the build up to the opener and got sucked in and left exposed for the third. Didn’t even have the decency to stay behind to clap the fans off, instead heading straight down the tunnel.
Wilshere – 7 – Only player to come out with any real credit. Worked his socks off and you have to feel for the lad. Looked on the verge of tears at full time and in his post-match interview. Deserves better.
Arteta – 5 – Lose his man (Muller) for the second goal and was generally below par. Not been the same player in recent weeks. Needs to step up.
Cazorla – 5 – Very quiet in the first half but was slightly more involved after the break. Didn’t look comfortable on the right wing.
Podolski – 5.5 – Hardly touched the ball in the first half but was on hand to head home to give us a lifeline.
Ramsey – 5 – Failed to cut out Muller’s cut back for the opener and lost Van Buyten for the second but why was Ramsey marketing the vital from post area in any case?!
Walcott – 5 – Totally anonymous in the first half and didn’t see much more of the ball in the second. Did get a little joy when he was moved to the right late on and set up Giroud who was unlucky not to score. Wenger’s gamble to play him up front didn’t work.
Giroud – 6 – Went close to grabbing what could have been a vital equaliser but saw his right-footed shot saved by Neuer.
Rosicky – 6 – Made a decent impact when replacing Ramsey for the last 20 minutes. Lovely long ball sent Walcott clear and showed good attacking intent in spurts.
If you didn’t see the game or want to put yourself through it again, you can watch the goals here.
What were your thought from the game? Get involved in the comments section below.
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