Arsenal v Bayern: the history between the clubs






By Bulldog Drummond

It won’t come as any surprise to find out that Arsenal have lost far more games than they have won against Bayern Munich.  In fact you might be slightly surprised to know that Arsenal have in fact beaten Bayern three times and drawn twice, although the bad news is that Arsenal have lost seven times.

The 2017 results were the most disastrous from Arsenal’s point of view.  Two 5-1 defeats, once at home, once away.  Making matters even more grim from an Arsenal point of view was the fact that these two results were actually the second and third defeats in succession by that score, since in 2015 Arsenal lost by the same score in Germany.   The only consolation then was that in the first leg in 2015 Arsenal beat Bayern 2-0 in London.

But prior to this there were four defeats – although by considerably lower scores than the 5-1 drubbing.    And these were interspersed with two draws and two Arsenal wins – and we really should note these.  A 1-0 win at home in 2005 and a 0-2 win in Germany in 2013.

However clearly the main thought will be on the three consecutive 1-5 defeats in 2015 and 2017.

Last season Bayern got to the quarter final of the Champions League where they met Manchester City and lost 3-0 away having drawn 1-1 at home. In 2022 Bayern lost to Villareal, drawing 1-1 at home and losing 1-0 away again in the quarter-finals.

In fact they also went out in the quarter-finals in 2021, losing to PSG by a single goal in both the home and away legs.

Indeed the last time they reached the final was in 2020 when they beat PSG 1-0.

So they are clearly a team with huge experience in the competition and have a squad and management who are used to facing these sorts of matches and winning.

But to look back further, from 1950 through to 1990 an East German football champion was declared until the eastern competition was reintegrated into the German national competition under the DFB.

Bayern won the West German league 12 times in the early days of the Bundesliga before the leagues of the East and West were amalgamated.  Since then it has won the league 21 times from1992 on to the present day.  That is a total of 21 title wins in 31 seasons, including 11 consecutive wins… the run that is going to come to an end any day now.

All told from 1932 to 2023 it has won the league 33 times and been runners up once, so this season that we are currently watching, and in which it seems highly unlikely that Bayern Munich could win the league again, is very unusual.    The current table reads


German Bundesliga 2023/24
Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Bayer Leverkusen 28 24 4 0 69 19 50 76
2 Bayern Munich 28 19 3 6 80 36 44 60
3 Stuttgart 28 19 3 6 64 34 30 60
4 RB Leipzig 28 16 5 7 64 33 31 53


So although Arsenal have had a tough time of it against Bayern Munich, this looks like the best opportunity to see them off in the Champions League for a very long time.

Not only are we on a run of seven games unbeaten (six wins, one draw) we have scored an average of almost three goals a match through that run.

But are there any injuries?

Arsenal have in fact just the one injury who has been out all season since the injury at the very start.  No prizes for knowing who.    This compares with 12 men out for Newcastle United, 10 men down for Luton Town, and nine each for Sheffield United and Manchester United.

Is Arsenal’s run with so few injuries since day one luck?  Or is it something to do with cutting down on the tackles?  I think the latter.  Of course 490 tackles during the season is a lot, and true the lack of injuries is not wholly explicable by the lack of tackles, but having committed only 30 fouls for tackles in the League all season has a lot to do with it.   Everton for example have committed over 600 tackles.

Only Manchester City have fewer fouls from tackles (29) while clubs like Aston Villa (52 cards from fouls) and Chelsea (48 cards from fouls) are just playing the game in a totally difference way.

Sadly I don’t have data from Germany on tackles and fouls, but if you know a source do let me know.  Drop in a comment.

One Reply to “Arsenal v Bayern: the history between the clubs”

  1. And to top it all there is an ISIS threat been issued to UEFA targetting champions league matches. Personally I have always found Arsenal’s security to be lax . It doesn’t make you feel great does it. 150 mile drive into what ?

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