FC Bayern München sealed their progress to the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals after a 1-1 second-leg draw with Arsenal FC helped them through 3-1 on aggregate.
The runaway Bundesliga leaders rarely looked in trouble throughout a dominant first half and took the lead early in the second period through Bastian Schweinsteiger. Lukas Podolski swiftly equalised against his former club, but any fears of a comeback were short-lived and Bayern could even afford a late penalty failure by Thomas Müller as Arsenal crashed out in the last 16 for the fourth campaign running. The only downside was a booking for Dante which rules the defender out of the quarter-final first leg.
Knowing his side would be through as long as they avoided conceding, Bayern boss Josep Guardiola stuck to the philosophy that keeping possession would the best way of neutralising the visitors. Javi Martínez was installed at centre-back for his ball retention capabilities, with fellow pass masters Thiago Alcántara and Schweinsteiger the double pivot in front.
The plan paid off as Bayern bossed proceedings throughout the opening half. Opportunities were limited, however, with Schweinsteiger's strike from distance doing little to trouble Łukasz Fabiański and Arjen Robben firing into the turf and over from Franck Ribéry's cross. Javi Martínez did have the ball in the net on 27 minutes, but his cushioned finish from Thiago Alcántara's free-kick was ruled offside.
Olivier Giroud forced a save from Manuel Neuer with a header at the other end, yet it was otherwise slim pickings for the Premier League outfit. As Bayern began to turn the screw moving towards the interval, Mario Götze went closest with a chest and volley after David Alaba, Robben and Mario Mandžukić had all threatened.
The pressure was unrelenting after the restart, making it no major surprise when Schweinsteiger broke the deadlock with a composed finish from Ribéry's pass. However, Arsène Wenger's team hit back almost immediately with a goal from nothing, Podolski dispossessing Philipp Lahm before slamming into the roof of the net.
The goal invigorated Arsenal briefly and Santi Cazorla called Neuer into action soon afterwards, but they struggled to maintain the intensity and Bayern regained control. Indeed, the holders might have settled things beyond all doubt had Fabiański not kept out substitute Müller's late spot kick. However, the draw sufficed as Bayern reached the last eight for the fifth time in six seasons.
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