Arsenal 2-0 Bayern München
Arsenal upset the form book in Group F by inflicting Bayern's first loss of the season, substitute Olivier Giroud and Mesut Özil scoring late on.
Article top media content
- Olivier Giroud's 77th-minute goal opens the scoring
- Manuel Neuer makes a spectacular save at 0-0 to keep out Theo Walcott's header
- Bayern dominate possession but cannot find a way past Petr Čech
- Mesut Özil adds the second at the death to make sure of the points
- The teams meet again at Fußball Arena München on 4 November
Late goals from Olivier Giroud and Mesut Özil breathed new life into Arsenal's UEFA Champions League campaign as they overcame Bayern München 2-0 to earn their first points in Group F.
For long periods Arsenal were penned back in their half, but they showed discipline and determination to hand in-form Bayern, who had won their previous 12 games, their first defeat of the season.
Both keepers were tested during an entertaining first half that produced no goals but plenty of chances. On seven minutes Neuer dove to his right to keep out Özil's low strike, then at the other end Petr Čech pulled off a stunning save to deny Thiago Alcántara after the Spaniard's one-two with Thomas Müller had scythed through the Arsenal defence.
A brilliant piece of skill from Douglas Costa took him past Héctor Bellerín before Čech beat out his shot, then on 28 minutes the Arsenal No1 palmed away a drive from Arturo Vidal. It was one-way traffic, but the London side still carried a threat and only the brilliance of Neuer prevented them from going ahead in the 33rd minute.
Walcott was picked out unmarked in the centre and he had time to brace himself and choose his spot. Incredibly, Neuer sprang full length to his right and clawed the ball out from on the line, leaving the striker holding his head in disbelief.
After the restart Bayern cranked up the pressure. They were dominating with 70% of possession and Arsenal were sitting deeper and deeper. Somehow the Gunners kept them at bay and when the Bundesliga leaders did break through Čech held firm, notably stopping Robert Lewandowski as he burst clear with 15 minutes to play.
Arsène Wenger replaced a tiring Walcott with Giroud and the switch paid instant dividends. An uncharacteristic mix-up in the Bayern defence allowed the ball to sail through to the French international, who bravely headed in as Neuer missed his clearance. After Arsenal had absorbed more Bayern pressure, Özil added a last-gasp second on the break to complete a memorable and dramatic night in north London.
Key player: Petr Čech
The Arsenal goalkeeper was a commanding presence at the back as Bayern pushed forward in wave after wave of attacks. When they did break through the Arsenal defence, he stood firm, saving notably from Thiago Alcántara early on and then crucially from Lewandowski before Giroud headed Arsenal in front.
Arsenal showed that they can hold their lines, defend deep and wait for their chances. It was a determined backs-to-the-wall performance – had they shown the same focus against Dinamo Zagreb and Olympiacos, Group F would be looking very different right now.
Even the best teams can have an off day. Despite dominating possession, Bayern were unable to make it pay. The prolific Lewandowski was for once unable to find the target and Neuer's slip proved for the first time this season that Bayern are beatable. Can Arsenal take advantage again on 4 November?