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Arsenal 2-2 Bayern Munich: Player ratings as Kiwior’s antics dampen the Gunners’ European chances

Arsenal were unable to assert their dominance over an out-of-form Bayern Munich as they struggled to equalize 2-2 at home in front of 60,000 home fans.

The Champions League has once again delivered as European giants clash and clamour to get into the semi-finals of the competition. The long-awaited between Arsenal and Bayern Munich was not an exception. The Gunners arrived at the game with full power and went ahead with a brilliant Bukayo Saka curler in the 12th minute.

There was a revenge subplot underlying Arsenal’s European title hopes but those hopes were dashed with Jakub Kiwior’s shambolic performance for the Gunners which led to two Bayern Munich goals. However, the Gunners managed to equalize with Leandro Trossard’s impressive finish on a Gabriel Jesus’ brilliant assist, leaving it all to fight for in the second leg at the Allianz Arena.

Arsenal vs Bayern: Play-by-Play

The Emirates Stadium was housing 60,000+ hearty Gunners with Bayern’s ban over their traveling fans after their game at Lazio. Arteta’s men took advantage of the atmosphere at the Emirates, causing problems down the right flank of Bayern Munich which eventually led to Bukayo Saka scoring a lovely curler from the edge of Bayern Munich’s box in the 12th minute.

Alphonso Davies was also the victim of Saka’s early game display as the Canadian picked up a yellow card, missing the second leg at home against Arsenal.

The Gunners had a chance to double up on their lead when Ben White, out of all people, was found deep inside Bayern’s defense but the Englishman failed to convert his chance against Neuer. Soon after Bayern saw their chance to go level as a series of sloppy defensive passes from Gabriel and Kiwior led to a direct chance on Arsenal’s goal as Goretzka set up the former Gunner, Serge Gnabry, to score the equalizer.

Arteta’s subs saved him the tie

Things only got worse for Arsenal as Bayern targeted their left flank, specifically Jakub Kiwior, and soon they found a way before the half-hour mark as Leroy Sane ran rampant through Arsenal’s defense, drawing a foul from William Saliba in the box. Harry Kane then converted the penalty as was expected, giving Bayern Munich the lead and sending them into a low block against Arsenal.

Arteta brought off Kiwior after his poor display in the first half and replaced him with Zinchenko, unlocking quite a bit of verticality and creativity down the left-hand side. He then brought on Gabriel Jesus and Trossard to add to their threat and was proven right as the two combined perfectly in the box, unlocking the Bayern defense as Leandro Trossard yet again scored an important goal for Arsenal.

Bayern Munich weren’t sitting idly though as they caused much trouble on the counter and came close to a third when Musiala and substitute Kingsley Coeman combined effort hit the crossbar.

Referee Glenn Nyberg could have impacted the tie immensely as Neuer brought down Saka in the last seconds of the match but the referee and the VAR team decided against giving the Gunners the penalty, letting the second leg to decide the eventual winner of this tight quarter-final tie.

Arsenal Player Ratings (4-3-3)

Saka frustrated with referee's no-penalty decision
Photo via Goal.com

David Raya (GK) – 4/10: The Spanish shot-stopper was so off on Kane’s penalty that he jumped the wrong way seconds before he even took it. He was nutmegged twice, once on the first goal and once when Coeman’s effort hit the bar.

Ben White (RB) – 6/10: Far from his best but came in for some clutch last-second tackles and was a threat going forward.

William Saliba (CB) – 5/10: The Frenchman was dominant going forward but gave away a penalty and could’ve done better on the first goal.

Gabriel (CB) – 6/10: Kept Kane quiet for the most part, going toe-to-toe with the Englishman as was expected of him.

Jakub Kiwior (LB) – 3/10: Possibly the worst individual performance from any Arsenal player this season. Was a liability all throughout the first half and his lack of pace and positioning cost Arsenal dearly on both Bayern’s goals.

Jorginho (DM) – 5/10: Failed to take control of the game with Goretzka and Laimer closing down the other two Arsenal midfielders.

Martin Odegaard (CM) – 7/10: The skipped worked hard as always but was closely marked by Laimer, nullifying his usual partnership with White and Saka on the left-hand side.

Declan Rice (CM) – 5/10: The Englishman didn’t spot a run by Goretzka on the first goal which directly contributed to Bayern taking control of the narrative.

Gabriel Martinelli (RW) – 4/10: Martinelli’s fitness is questioned once again as his poor performance failed to exert any pressure on Bayern’s right-hand side.

Kai Havertz (ST) – 6/10: Hard-working and tenacious but without any real impact on the game.

Bukayo Saka (RW) – 8/10: Even if he was a bit off his game, Saka managed to cause Bayern a headache on Arsenal’s right wing. Scored one and could have won a penalty but was denied.

Substitutes

Oleksandr Zinchenko (For Kiwior – 46′) – 7/10: Impacted the game by unlocking Arsenal’s left hand side which then opened up the Bayern defence even further.

Leandro Trossard (For Martinelli – 66′) – 8/10: He is genuinely a super sub for Arteta, asserting Arsenal’s dominance every time he gets on the pitch.

Gabriel Jesus (For Jorginho – 66′) – 7/10: His mazy runs unlocked Bayern’s low block and led to an impressive assist on Arsenal’s equalizer.

Thomas Partey (For Havertz – 86′) – N/A: He is clearly not fit and not match-ready.

Manager

Mikel Arteta – 6/10: The Spaniard’s decision to start Kiwior on the left-hand side cost him dearly but he recovered with some brilliant substitutes.

Bayern Munich Player Ratings (4-2-3-1)

Manuel Neuer(GK) – 6/10: Stopped Ben White’s clear chance on goal but was sloppy at times.

Joshua Kimmich (RB) – 7/10: Performed well against the invisible Gabriel Martinelli. Kept Trossard quiet for the most part.

Eric Dier (CB) – 5/10: Could’ve blocked Saka’s goal but was found lacking when it mattered.

Matthijs De Ligt (CB) – 7/10: Kept it tidy at the back and marshalled Bayern’s low block.

Alphonso Davies (LB) – 4/10: Was a threat going forward but he completely lost the defensive battle against Saka and White.

Konrad Laimer (CM) – 7/10: Shadowed and marked Odegaard throughout the game, keeping the Norwegian mostly quiet.

Leon Goretzka (CM) – 9/10: A Man of the Match performance from the often-criticized German. Assisted Gnabry on the first Goal and kept Declan Rice quiet all throughout the game.

Jamal Musiala (CAM) – 5/10: Mostly nullified by Odegaard and Ben White.Showed glimpses of brilliance.

Serge Gnabry (LW) – 7/10: Scored against his former side and helped out massively defensively.

Leroy Sane (RW) – 8/10: Most of Bayern’s threat came from where he operated and he caused a headache for Arteta and Kiwior in the first half.

Harry Kane (ST) – 6/10: An almost-expected goal from the spot but was mostly quiet except for some brilliant line-breaking passes.

Substitutes

Kingsley Coman (For Sane – 66′) – 7/10: Pushed for a goal and even hit the crossbar but wasn’t as much of a threat as Sane.

Rafael Guerreiro (For Gnabry – 70′) – 5/10: didn’t contribute much defensively or offensively.

Manager

Thomas Tuchel – 7/10: Saw Arsenal’s few weak links and punished them for it, giving his troubled side a great chance to reach the semi-finals.

Ethan Dempsey
Ethan Dempsey
Ethan is a lifelong football fan. When he is not obsessing over the Premier League games, Ethan likes to read fantasy tomes, watch football documentaries and waste hours upon hours on video games.
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