By Walter Broeckx
Back in action after spending the weekend in Brittany at the end of the world but now sitting comfortable with a good working (I hope) channel to watch this match.
A few changes with last weekend match. Alexis back in the starting line up and also Walcott made the starting line up. Ramsey also starting and Welbeck kept his starting place. His second start in half a week.
On the beach we had Özil back who had recovered from illness but Iwobi now being sick was at home.
Ospina as usual in the starting line up for the Champions League.
The Arsenal : Ospina, Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Xhaka, Ramsey, Ox, Walcott, Welbeck, Alexis.
On the beach: Cech, Gibbs, Gabriel, Lucas, Ozil, Giroud, Coquelin.
A first stop of the match to remove a few hundred rolls of toiletpaper… okay I know I got the shit from my trip but not that much toilet paper needed. I now notice that even arsenal.com can get things wrong as Giroud has started and not Welbeck. Robben wins a corner after a first run and cut in but Monreal can block the effort. Walcott caught offside by the assistant and that was a correct decision. Walcott then onside but Neuer comes out his penalty area and clears the ball. Arsenal win a corner and Giroud and the defender fight a duel and the ball goes out from the post. But as this is Europe the ref has seen a foul from the striker and gives a free kick against Giroud. Pundits in England will have just said; he wanted it more. 0-0 after 15 minutes with no real goal chances for either side.
First Theo just can’t get through the Bayern defence and then The Ox faces the same problem. Arsenal now pressing more and winning another corner as a Bayern defender has to clear before Giroud. Again the referee penalises an attacking foul from an Arsenal player. This is not the PL laws as we know them.
Pardon my French but f*ck my stream goes down and Theo scores. GOAL!!! Let’s hope for a replay somewhere. A cross from Bayern but again the blows the whistle for an attacking foul from a Bayern player. Ospina then quick off his line to deny Lewanowski who seemed offside . The ref being strict about attackers pushing their defenders, this time against Ramsey. Arsenal keeps on pushing forward to score another goal. Ramsey with an attempted volley but that was nowhere near the target. Meanwhile a replay of the amazing run from Theo who finished with a powerful shot that was unstoppable for Neuer and went in right under the crossbar. What a goal that was. Still 1-0 after 30 minutes.
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Alexis didn’t track back and is found offside but Giroud hard working wins the ball back but Bayern can clear the cross for a corner. Walcott goes down in the penalty area under a challenge but the ref gives a corner. Theo again with a shot but this time the angle is against him and he only hits the side net. Well the “foul” on Walcott looked a foul as it didn’t look as if the Bayern layer touched the ball but he did clip the ankle of Theo. But a difficult call to make. Monreal with a headed pass to Giroud but he shoots over. Robbben then lifts the ball to Lewandowski who was onside but he also misses his shot. The first real Bayern goal chance after my stream was back online. Theo giving the ball a bit too hard to Alaba and he is being booked. Alaba also in the book for his trouble. Arsenal counter after a Bayern counter but the cross from Bellerin is cleared, Bayern counter but Ospina can stop the shot from Robben. Vidal goes in hard against Alexis and I hope he got a yellow card for that challenge. Bayern now trying to score an equaliser before half time but Ospina picks up the cross before a Bayern player become dangerous. Martinez goes in the book for bringing down Ramsey. Alexis with the free kick but too much in the middle and Neuer can save comfortably. Arsenal go in after 45 minutes leading 1-0.
Some good early pressing from Arsenal ends with a cross from Ramsey to Giroud but he heads over the cross bar from 6 meters out. Bayern think they scored but the player was offside when the free kick was taken. Bayern then get the penalty for what looked a shoulder charge from Koscielny but Lewandowski went down. And then the ref first give a yellow and then changes it to a red card????? Come on the triple punishment has been banned for such fouls… Lewandowski scores and with the red card the ref has ended the match completely. This is ridiculous. 1-1 after 55 minutes.
And with the ref messing up like he did I suddenly remember why I never watch CL football apart from when Aresenla is playing. I also found out that Vidal didn’t get a yellow card for his wild challenge on Alexis in the first half. Oh well…. But refs don’t influence matches don’t they…. And I’m not even talking about getting qualified but is it that difficult to do an Arsenal CL match without sending a player off when we play Bayern or Barcelona?
Bayern now sitting in the driving seat of course and Ospina has to make a good stop on a shot from Lewandowski. The assistant then lets a Bayern player who was clearly interfering off the hook and doesn’t flag for offfside. Luckily Ospina who had already stopped running because it was so clear can stop the attack.
Bayern then score. Robben. 1-2. Alexis lost the ball close to his penalty area under pressureHow easy things get when the ref gives you a big helping hand. My Dutch match commentator also couldn’t understand the red card by the way.
After 71 minutes Arsenal make a triple substitution Ramsey, Giroud and Alexis go off and Lucas, Özil and Coquelin come on. Lewandowski hits the post. Bayern counter some more and make it 1-3.
Vidal scores 1-4 when Arsenal lose the ball close to their own penalty area. How easy things get when the refs sends a player off against the instructions.
Bayern score again 1-5. How easy it gets when you send off a player against the instructions.
Bellerin with a shot that shaves the post in the final minute of extra time.
Arsenal was the better team for 55 minutes and didn’t deserve this. The ref put Bayern in the driving seat after first not give a penalty for Arsenal in the first half and then give one against Arsenal and most of all send Koscielny off. That killed us and Bayern took complete advantage of a team that knew it was robbed as in the past in the CL.
How easy things can get when the ref doesn’t know the laws of the game. Or worse… if he knows them and then goes against them. This was about getting qualified but about getting a fair chance of making things up. The ref in a cruel way took that chance away from the team.
Wenger thought about having a go at the ref at the end but he wisely went in to the dressing room. You can’t win that fight against UEFA. As we have found out in the past.