UCL: Bayern Munich 5-1 Arsenal


Robert Lewandowski and Thiago Alcantara both scored as Bayern Munich beat Arsenal 5-1

Thiago Alcantara scored twice as Bayern Munich thrashed Arsenal 5-1 on Wednesday to take full control of their Champions League last-16 tie.



 As expected, David Ospina replaced Petr Cech for the Gunners and he was straight into the action, showing good handling to keep hold of Arturo Vidal's long-range effort in the eighth minute. However, Bayern took the lead three minutes later as Robben cut in from the left flank before picking out the top corner with a curling left-footed strike, leaving Ospina with no chance.

Ancelotti's side were in full control, dominating the midfield battle as the visitors struggled to win the ball back. Philipp Lahm, in combination with Robben, caused the Gunners all sorts of problems down the right flank, and the Dutchman tested Ospina once again from long range.

Arsenal's best hope looked to be on the counter-attack with Sanchez the main threat. In the 26th minute, the Chile international drove to the edge of the Bayern penalty area, forcing Mats Hummels into bringing him down. Mesut Ozil curled a tame free-kick straight at Neuer, who spilled the ball, causing panic in the Bayern defence, but the flag was up for offside as the ball fizzed wide of the post.

The Gunners continued to press and they were rewarded three minutes later as Lewandowski dwelled on the ball attempting to clear a corner. Koscielny nipped in and the Polish international brought him down with his follow through. The referee immediately pointed to the spot and although Sanchez's penalty was initially saved, the Chilean showed great composure to bring the rebound down before picking out the far corner to give Arsenal an away goal.

The Gunners were given a huge lift by the goal and, after Ozil and Sanchez combined, the Chilean released Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who picked out Granit Xhaka on the edge of the area, but the midfielder's firm shot was straight at Neuer. Lewandowski then passed up a glorious chance, heading over David Alaba's cross before Ozil forced Neuer into a smart stop on the stroke of half-time.

Wenger would have been delighted with his side's first-half showing but they received a huge blow in the 49th minute when Koscielny over-stretched to make a clearance and was forced off, with Gabriel coming on in his place. And four minutes later the hosts were ahead with Lewandowski, nodding home Lahm's inch-perfect cross.

Things got even worse for the Gunners in the 56th minute and the Polish striker was involved again, flicking Xabi Alonso's pass into the path of Thiago, who produced a low finish to beat Ospina. Bayern were turning on the style and they could have been further in front with Lewandowski clipping a shot onto the bar shot before Robben's rebound was deflected behind.

Arsenal needed Ospina to make a superb point-blank save to deny Lewandowski, but he was soon beaten again as Thiago's strike deflected off Xhaka and into the net. Bayern continued to press forward with Arsenal having no answer, and the deficit could have been even greater with Ospina called into action to push Vidal's low drive wide off the post before tipping Douglas Costa's strike behind.

But Bayern did eventually add a fifth through Muller, who came off the bench with four minutes remaining, and he put the hosts in a formidable position ahead of the second leg after Oxlade-Chamberlain lost possession on the edge of his own box.



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