Not what we wanted but not as bad as the Germans predicted


By Tony Attwood

And so we learn once again that European football is not like league football.  In the last round Arsenal were perceived by the referee to be fouling at something like double the rate that they foul in Premier League matches.   This time we are still waiting for the official total number of fouls, but we do know that Gabriel Jesus and Leandro Trossard did the business.  Maybe in the end it won’t be enough, but even if that is the case we will remember  Kane’s elbow into Gabriel’s throat as something apparently not due a sending off.  These are interesting days in Europe.

But, and for me this is the most important thing, the players now need to come back full steam ahead to face Aston Villa on Sunday.  As matters stand the chance of winning the Champions League seem slim indeed (if we get through we will meet tougher teams than Bayern) – and besides the grand advantage of being a much quicker team than Bayern will be nullified simply by the fact that Bayern will be much more ready for us in the second leg.

On the other hand the chances of winning the Premier League seem brighter although of course far from guaranteed.

Bayern have an income which is double that of any other team in their league, just as for years Manchester City have had an income which is double (often seemingly more than double) of that of other teams in the Premier League.

So they can buy whomever they want, and yet they cannot solve the most amusing problem of the age: how Kane can be a top scorer year after year but simultaneously fail to win a league title year after year.   Is it something within him that causes this to happen?  Or is it perhaps just something within him?  It must be one or the other.

But ultimately as some popular singing fellow once said, “All things must pass” and Kane knows he will eventually retire with nothing much on the mantle piece except pictures of relatives, reflecting that after all he is just like the rest of us.  Only richer.

Arsenal looked to me like they should have had a penalty at the end, but on these sorts of decisions, games can be settled.   More than anything the teams need to set that aside and go forward such feelings.  But then again at last we can set aside those Bayern goals scored at the Arsenal stadium because away goals no longer count double.   It starts, in the return match, totally even.

Although after the game Keith Hackett, of whom it has been said, himself said, “Harry Kane can count himself a lucky boy. His swinging elbow to the face of Arsenal defender Gabriel in the 55th minute of the quarter-final first leg… It was dangerous, reckless and with excessive force.”

And yes this time I agree with Mr H.

But I think most of all what I will take away from this game was the utter silence that greeted the second Bayern goal.   There was nothing, not a sound.   And that seemed to me to be appropriate.

So how then do the players, and those of us who go to games, actually raise ourselves for the next match?  One way is to remember that Aston Villa have only won two of their last six games and tomorrow have a European tie of their own against LOSC Lille in the almighty UEFA Europa Conference League.

Lille are currently fourth in the French league (while Aston Villa are fifth in the Premier League, and so although Villa will have a lot easier game than Arsenal had, playing the team currently second in the German league, they will have their own battle to face.

A quick count of the goal tally in Villa’s last half-dozen games suggests that they have scored eleven goals in those six games while the opposition have scored twelve.  Or something like that.

So the disappointment of last night can be set aside and we can move forward once again.  Although if looking back is still your cup of tea you might consider pondering our comment from the last article to the effect that had the headline “5 reasons Bayern will beat Arsenal”.   These include the fact (alleged) that Harry Kane will be dominating all the headlines”.

If your fortune teller is a German, you might want a pinch of salt.

4 Replies to “Not what we wanted but not as bad as the Germans predicted”

  1. I frankly believe that Arsenal will be more ready for Bayern then the other way around.
    Mr Arteta has more options, and I believe that tactically he has the upper hand on Tuchel.
    His substitutions were right on the mark and changed the outcome.
    He’ll be able to adjust for next week, I am convinced of that.
    Bayern won because, well, Gabriel stumbled onto some grass hole or mound.
    It is just visible in the replay. He did not do anything wrong. Shit just happens. Lost his balamce and his pass was off.
    This destabilised Arsenal, probably brought back unexisting demons, djinns and curses which lead to the error for the second goal.

    Apart from that, Bayern had ONE shot on target. the defense held strong, we got lucky with the shot against the post, that is true. But the way Arsenal were able to harrass the bayern players in their own half was wuite something – and something I’ve never seen in Bundesliga games even this season. And Arsenal scored another nice goal.

    So I am not counting Arsenal out and firmly believe they have all their chances at Munich next week.

    Ps : I never like Kane. He just showed me why. Mean bastard, all big scorer he is.

  2. I must say I admit that I was a bit worried going into the game, but I’m with you Chris that next week will be a sad 1 for Bayern. I’m thinking that they may not get the chances next week that was gifted them last night with the missed pass by Gabriel. These things happen so next week they’ll be more vigilant and aware so they can do what they did to City and stop them scoring.
    I had been wondering where Kane’s pallie Dier was and lo, he turned up last night. If we pressure the diving in fella next week there may have to be a red card for them, which will change the game completely. My view is that last night was great to see, plus Arsenal doesn’t have to fear any side in Europe, including Real. They were not able to get a winner late on with more time than Arsenal, so it makes you look forward to the next installment. Good on the team and great for the club…

  3. Chris

    Re their first goal. I too think it can be put in the ‘shit happens’ box, but I’ll make 2 observations.

    1: Once it was obvious Gabriel was ‘in trouble’, every player within his immediate vicinity should a) Immediately realise that. b) Immediately react.

    He had 2 players in such positions. Raya and Kiwior. Both should of been screaming for the ball giving him an outlet. Both should of been absolutely on their toes and expecting to be used as ‘the’ outlet. It was immediately obvious Gabriel had turned away from Raya and as such Kiwior should of known the ball was coming his way. All that is leading to the point that I think if anyone was at fault, it was Kiwior as he didn’t seem as ready as he should of been. He seemed surprised, and therefore on his heels when the ball came his way. It’s a mild criticism, but if there is any blame I feel he just could of been more ‘on his toes’ and got to the ball as it came his way. Very picky I know, but that’s how I saw it.

    2: Once they had the turn over they were immaculate and showed just why you cannot get ‘turned over’ by them, especially in your own half. They will kill you.

    Yesterday I predicted how tough this tie would be. Bayern are not a ‘bad’ side, they are an ‘inconsistent’ side. They have pretty much only had the Champions League to play for, for weeks, if not months. I said it would be very tight over the 2 legs and nothing has changed. Play at our best in the second leg and we are more than capable of at the very least getting a draw, but a win is perfectly possible.

  4. on TNT they said it was intentional as Kane looked to see where Gabriel was and then swung the elbow. He used to target Gabriel when at the spuds. If it was at the prem he would have had England Captain protection.

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