Match Reaction: Bayern Munich prove that they can win the Champions League 

Bayern Munich held Arsenal to a 2-2 draw at the Emirates Stadium in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal tie to gain what they will believe to be a crucial advantage ahead of their meeting at the Allianz Arena.

Despite an early Bukayo Saka goal, Der Rekordmeister rallied and, through an inspired Leroy Sané, turned the tie on its head. Firstly, Sané’s sumptuous pass found Leon Goretzka, who slid Serge Gnabry through on goal to restore parity.

Then, a dazzling run from the former Manchester City winger led to William Saliba clipping him down in the box, offering Harry Kane the chance to place the record champions in front. However, while Leandro Trossard levelled the tie, Bayern proved that they have the ability to win the Champions League.

On the night, Arsenal were undeniably the side asking all the questions, proving to be a consistent dominant force in Bayern’s defensive third. With 59% of possession and 13 shots to Bayern’s eight, as per Fotmob, the Gunners were continuously probing Bayern’s resistance.

Nevertheless, Thomas Tuchel’s gameplan worked, and nearly to perfection. Discipline, patience, and speed was the name of the game for Der Rekordmeister, optimised by Sané.

While Alphonso Davies and Eric Dier struggled during the opening exchanges, overcoming Bayern’s defensive perseverance proved to be a difficult task for Arsenal. A total of 22 defensive actions between Bayern’s back four left the Premier League outfit and the home fans frustrated while simultaneously leaving Manuel Neuer with little to do.

However, it was the transition when Bayern displayed the qualities of a side that could challenge for silverware. The technical ability and combination play of Jamal Musiala and Harry Kane, along with the explosive pace of Sané, stunned the hosts on the counterattack.

At times, Sané was unplayable, and if it were not for his persistent groin injury forcing him to depart early in the second half, Bayern may have gone on to win the first leg. As well as this, the injury to Gnabry also negatively impacted the visitors, and they will be hoping for a speedy recovery in time for the second leg. 

Regardless, while it was not a perfect performance, Bayern displayed how to win a knockout tournament. It was a true cup performance from Tuchel’s side, who, with a crowd behind them, could easily dispatch Arsenal. 

GGFN | Will Shopland

Get Football+

More European Football News