“I think we could have won. I think it was a 100% penalty.” – Thomas Tuchel on Bayern Munich’s draw with Arsenal

On Tuesday evening, Bayern Munich held Arsenal to a 2-2 draw at the Emirates Stadium, in what will be considered a missed opportunity for Thomas Tuchel’s side. Despite Arsenal dominating the game in large parts, Der Rekordmeister’s defensive resilience frustrated the hosts, who failed to make the most of their home advantage.

However, for the Gunners, it could have been far worse. Halfway through the first half, Arsenal’s goalkeeper David Raya took a goal kick after the whistle had been blown. Centre-back Gabriel then proceeded to pick up the ball with his hands and retake the goal kick. 

In what appeared to be a clear handball, referee Glenn Nyberg chose not to reward the record champions with a penalty. After the game, Bayern head coach Thomas Tuchel explained his amazement at the decision to Sky Austria:

“I think we could have won. I think it was a 100% penalty that we didn’t get. It’s an extremely good opponent. Extremely good spectators, but a below-average referee. Little things all went in one direction; every physical contact was whistled away. Arsenal players could complain as they wanted.”

“It was also a crystal clear hand penalty. He says to our players it was a ‘kids mistake’—’I”won’t whistle that in a Champions League quarter-final’. That’s a completely new way of interpreting the rules. That’s simply incredible and audacious.”

Former Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane also shared his view on the incident after the game: “We should have gotten a crystal-clear penalty. The referee blows his whistle, the goalkeeper passes to Gabriel, and he just takes the ball in his hands. That’s crazy. That’s a silly, childish mistake, but that’s what it is—the clearest penalty I’ve ever seen.”

Nevertheless, regardless of whether Bayern should have had a penalty, Rekordmeister will be pleased with their performance. A display of character has been a rare commodity for Bayern in recent months, but with the Champions League on the line, they stepped up to the plate.

Now, it will be about preparing for the return leg next Wednesday and ensuring that Leroy Sané is fully fit. If Bayern can perform at the same level at the Allianz Arena, then there is no doubt they will advance to the semi-finals. 

GGFN | Will Shopland

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