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Two-goal win not enough for Arsenal at Bayern

Published: Wednesday 13 March 2013, 22.48CET
FC Bayern 0-2 Arsenal FC (agg: 3-3, Bayern win on away goals)
The Bundesliga leaders progressed to the quarter-finals despite succumbing on the night to goals from Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny.
by Andy James
from Fußball Arena München

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Published: Wednesday 13 March 2013, 22.48CET

Two-goal win not enough for Arsenal at Bayern

FC Bayern 0-2 Arsenal FC (agg: 3-3, Bayern win on away goals)
The Bundesliga leaders progressed to the quarter-finals despite succumbing on the night to goals from Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny.

FC Bayern München progressed to the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals for the fourth time in five seasons in spite of a 2-0 home defeat by Arsenal FC.

Olivier Giroud's early opener suggested the Bavarians could be in for an uncomfortable evening, but Jupp Heynckes' side rarely looked in danger of relinquishing their 3-1 first-leg advantage until Laurent Koscielny's late header made for a nervy finish. The Gunners were unable to muster another, though, meaning Bayern go into Friday's draw by virtue of their three away goals in London and Arsenal exit at this stage for the third successive campaign.

With his team requiring a minimum of three goals, Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger had emphasised the importance of scoring early and to his delight the Bayern defence was breached three minutes in. Theo Walcott was afforded far too much room on the right and his drilled centre was emphatically converted by Giroud.

However, having come from behind twice to beat Fortuna Düsseldorf in the Bundesliga at the weekend, the hosts were not about to lose their composure and soon wrested control of possession. Toni Kroos twice drew saves from Gunners goalkeeper Łukasz Fabiański with strikes from inside and outside the box, either side of a Luiz Gustavo volley that whistled over the crossbar.

Arjen Robben then dragged wide from the edge of the area and Thomas Müller hit the side netting – and, save for one defensive mix-up between Manuel Neuer and David Alaba which almost allowed Walcott in, the home fans were right to remain calm despite their team trailing at the interval.

Further efforts from Robben and Kroos reaffirmed Bayern's dominance after the restart, but one lapse in concentration was all Arsenal needed to get back into the contest, as Giroud intimated when he thrashed a dangerous left-foot volley over on the counterattack.

Yet Bayern continued to press. Robben and Müller were busy on either flank and, having created various crossing opportunities only to find scant support in the middle, the two combined brilliantly on 68 minutes. A stylish Müller flick sent Robben scampering through, but the Dutch international's poked finish was beaten around the post by Fabiański.

Bayern introduced Mario Gomez in the hope of putting the tie to bed, though it was another substitute, Gervinho, who went agonisingly close at the other end after turning his marker in the box. Koscielny then headed in Santi Cazorla's corner to level matters at 3-3 on aggregate four minutes from the end, yet Bayern held on to advance on away goals.

Last updated: 04/12/13 6.23CET

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