Five Arsenal players who shone at the Allianz Arena

Carl Jenkinson 2

Who were Arsenal's best performers last night? Answer, the defenders and the goalkeeper.

Not many people expected that last night, especially with so much doom and gloom reported by certain national newspapers before the game of Arsene Wenger effectively waving the white flag.

There was no such surrender, instead Arsenal put up a valiant performance, which will like their loss to Milan go down as another glorious failure, somewhat ignoring the pitfall of another poor first leg which sealed their fate.

But this is about last night, and the superb 2-0 win which over-confident Bayern admitted 'taught them a lesson'.

We have picked out Arsenal's top five performers from the night, and no surprise for a team which kept a clean sheet at the Allianz Arena, it's the backline. 

Lukas Fabianski

Picked in goal instead of the 'mentally exhausted' Wojciech Szczesny, it was Fabianski's first appearance of the season. Only it didn't show. Wenger had clearly been watching his impressive displays for the under-21s, as the Pole performed adeptly showing he has really come a long way since his rocky early Arsenal days. He made five saves to keep Bayern at bay, and may well go onto stake a claim for a run in the side. A nice late season bonus for the Gunners.

Carl Jenkinson

Bacary Sagna injured? No bother. Just as he showed early in the season when the Frenchman was out, Carl Jenkinson is a top class defender. From dealing with Gareth Bale a fortnight ago, he was up against Arjen Robben and it could certainly be argued he came out better off. He made a superb last man saving tackle on Robben, and statistics show he has gone the whole Champions League campaign, 532 minutes of football winning 100 per cent of the tackles he has competed for.

Kieran Gibbs

This was Kieran Gibbs' first game back from injury and Gibbs played like he had not missed a beat. His first team place is under threat from Nacho Monreal and he answered the challenge impressively, giving his manager a real headache, but a positive one. He was certainly under pressure from the Germans, and played the entire second half with a booking to his name. Despite this he made more successful tackles (3) than any other Arsenal defender.

Laurent Koscielny

Koscielny was Arsenal's man of the match, as he has been in Europe before when they went down to Barcelona in 2011. This time he was a real leader, and helped the more inexperience full-backs. His reading of the game was excellent, making four interceptions and by the end of the match he had attempted (14) and made (7) more clearances than any other Arsenal player. Not only that but he popped up at the other end late on to score Arsenal's second and threaten a frantic finish, which Bayern were able to sadly for Arsenal hold off.

Per Mertesacker

Per Mertesacker knew he better put in a good performance, for he had his whole host nation watching on. A horror show would have damaged his international prospects and reputation, so fortunately for him he came good. He benefits from having Koscielny alongside him, whose pace covers his own deficiencies. He had an unsually calming influence on the match and will be delighted at how he helped the Gunners stand firm.

Should Arsenal continue with this back four and goalkeeper against Swansea at the weekend? Should any of their attacking players be on this list?

images: © Ronnie Macdonald

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