David Alaba said Bayern München had "shown what we are capable of" with their 5-1 defeat of an Arsenal side who beat them a forthnight ago – but what made the difference?
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"It always depends on the first goal," said Manuel Neuer after Bayern München steamrollered their way to a 5-1 defeat of Arsenal on Wednesday evening.
The game was statistically similar to the one the Gunners won 2-0 a fortnight ago. Indeed Bayern had more possession that night – 69% to 66% – and one more attempt on goal, 22 compared to 21, but showed a clinical edge at home they lacked in north London.
Two goals from Thomas Müller and one apiece from Robert Lewandowski, David Alaba and Arjen Robben put the visitors to the sword, but what made the difference for Josep Guardiola's side?
"We were a little unlucky with our chances [on matchday three]," Neuer told UEFA.com. "Today was much better – we made the most of our big opportunities."
The timing of Bayern's goals was also a key factor, Lewandowski's tenth-minute header puncturing Arsenal's optimism after a bright start. "We probably had more chances today than in the first match," said Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Čech, "but they were obviously more efficient in attack."
Just as Arsène Wenger's charges looked to be regaining their composure, Bayern struck again through Müller, Alaba effectively killing the game off with a splendid effort just before the interval. "We showed what we are capable of in the first half," said stand-out performer Alaba, who attributed his side's success to the early goal. "It's great when we score our first chance. That worked very well for us today."
Though the joint Premier League leaders improved marginally after the break, they could not stop Robben from adding a fourth – his first UEFA Champions League goal in more than a year – less than a minute after coming off the bench. Olivier Giroud's effort never looked likely to spark a comeback and Müller added the gloss late on.
In truth, it might have been more. Guardiola's team have now scored 24 goals in their last five home matches in all competitions, including five against Wolfsburg, Dinamo Zagreb, Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal. They look to be more ruthless than ever, their profligacy on matchday three now so evidently nothing more than a blip.