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Arsenal 2-0 Bayern München (agg: 2-1): Gunners fire early to seal seventh semi-final

Frida Maanum and Stina Blackstenius ensured Arsenal overturned their first-leg deficit to reach the semis for the seventh time.

Highlights: Arsenal 2-0 Bayern

Arsenal ended their decade-long wait to reach a seventh European semi-final as they overturned a first-leg deficit to eliminate Bayern München.

It was 1-0 to Bayern at kick-off in north London, but within half an hour the Gunners led on aggregate thanks to Frida Maanum and Stina Blackstenius. They had plenty more chances, but two goals proved enough to send them through.

Key moments

12' Little leaves the pitch injured
20' Maanum strikes from distance
26' Backstenius header gives Arsenal aggregate lead

Match in brief: Arsenal reign in rain

Frida Maanum gets Arsenal's first goal
Frida Maanum gets Arsenal's first goalGetty Images

January signing Victoria Pelova got her first European start for Arsenal after her impressive first-leg display from the bench, but there was an early blow for the Gunners when captain Kim Little limped off, meaning birthday girl Leah Williamson stepped forward into midfield.

That did not stop Arsenal's early pressure in the torrential London conditions, and on 20 minutes a Williamson flick allowed Maanum to let fly with a effort from distance that swerved into the top corner.

Pelova then tested Maria-Luisa Grohs as Arsenal looked to grab the aggregate lead, and the advantage duly arrived when Katie McCabe's chipped cross was nodded in by Blackstenius. Just past the half-hour mark, it was nearly three as Williamson headed Caitlin Foord's centre fractionally over.

At the other end, Franziska Kett – starting in place of the not fully fit Sydney Lohmann – missed the target following good work from Klara Bühl. But the deficit was only two goals at the break thanks to a pair of excellent Grohs saves from Blackstenius, plus Glódís Perla Viggósdóttir blocking a Maanum strike and Lotte Wubben-Moy's cross floating onto the woodwork.

The half-time interval, and easing of the rain, allowed Bayern to get a foothold in the game, but Grohs still had to tip a McCabe shot past the post. Jovana Damnjanović's introduction allowed Bayern to switch to a 3-5-2, but Arsenal still pressed and McCabe looped the ball over following Pelova's flick. McCabe hobbled off near the end and left on crutches, yet Arsenal were not to be denied.

As it happened: Arsenal 2-0 Bayern (agg: 2-1)
Frida Maanum with her Player of the Match award
Frida Maanum with her Player of the Match awardUEFA via Getty Images

Visa Player of the Match: Frida Maanum (Arsenal)

"Involved in many dangerous situations, very variable runs into space, always available and high passing quality and intelligent play. Defensively very good in one-ones and backward movements. Strong finish from distance."
UEFA Technical Observer panel

Paul Saffer, Arsenal reporter

Arsenal had been unfortunate to come out of the first leg behind and, after putting five past Tottenham at the weekend, did not let up tonight. Even the loss of the influential Little failed to knock the Gunners off their stride as Williamson, not unfamiliar with a midfield role for Arsenal or England, was able to help them dictate play, while Pelova and Foord provided familiar thrust down the flanks. Maanum's finish was special and proved the spark.

A record English crowd for this competition saw Arsenal advance
A record English crowd for this competition saw Arsenal advanceAFP via Getty Images

Judith Tuffentsammer, Bayern reporter

It was a difficult night for Bayern. With expectations running high after the first-leg victory and defeating league rivals Wolfsburg at the weekend, they were surely hoping for more tonight. Yet the team from Munich was unable to create much offensively and had difficulties keeping Arsenal in check at the back, ultimately being lucky to only concede twice in the first half. Bayern now have to wait another year for a shot at reaching a first Champions League final.


Jonas Eidevall, Arsenal coach: "I'm almost lost for words because I think the performance was so strong. We go out and believe in the way that we play. I think we played brilliantly and the only thing we could have asked more was to be more efficient with our goalscoring opportunities.

[On his celebration after the first goal] "I practised that with my twin boys, how we would celebrate if we scored, so that was for them. It was a very good moment."

Caitlin Foord, Arsenal forward: "It's huge coming off last week going down 1-0. I think we started the game off how we wanted to and that was how we finished the last game. I think overall it was a really good performance.

"I think [the fans] were what drove us through it. Thanks to everyone that came out; they played a massive part in us getting the win tonight. I can't thank them enough."

Alexander Straus, Bayern coach: "It's disappointing. To be honest, I think we gave it away in that ten-minute period in the first half. I need to congratulate Arsenal, as I think they probably deserved it in the end.

"We gave away the ball too easily. We did it a little bit in the first game too. Great credit to [Arsenal] – we were not smart enough to find the solution."

Georgia Stanway, Bayern midfielder: "Coming here with a 1-0 lead was always going to be difficult. We knew the level Arsenal have and the standard they have. If I'm being totally honest, they were the better team. They were the better team in the first leg, especially in the second half, and they were the better team today."

Key stats

  • Arsenal are into their seventh semi-final (from a record 15 last-eight appearances), but their first since losing to Wolfsburg in 2012/13.
  • Arsenal had previously been knocked out in all three previous quarter-finals against German opposition, and this was only their second two-legged victory against a Frauen-Bundesliga team since beating Turbine Potsdam in the 2012/13 round of 16.
  • Before tonight, Bayern had won 14 games in a row, kept seven clean sheets, and had not conceded more than once in a game since the 3-0 loss at Barcelona in November.
  • The 21,307 crowd was an English record for this competition.


Arsenal: Zinsberger; Maritz, Williamson, Rafaelle, McCabe (Hurtig 89); Little (Wubben-Moy 12), Maanum, Wälti; Pelova (Wienroither 77), Blackstenius (Beattie 89), Foord

Bayern: Grohs; Rall (Laurent 80), Viggósdóttir, Kumagai, Hansen; Zadrazil (Lohmann 80), Stanway, Magull (Rudelic 88); Bühl, Schüller (Vilhjálmsdóttir 88), Kett (Damnjanović 64)

What's next?

Arsenal will face Wolfsburg in the semi-finals on 22/23 and 29/30 April or 1 May. The Gunners will be away in the first leg.