The Gunners came out the traps strongly in the first half and were unlucky not to have been 1-0 after Mesut Ozil earned his side a penalty just 7 minutes into the game. The North Londoners’ club record signing had his spot kick saved by his German national teammate Manuel Neuer before the Bavarians were awarded a penalty of their own in the 37th minute as Arsenal goalkeeper Wojceich Szczesny was sent off for a foul on Arjen Robben.
"We rode our luck in the first 15 minutes, especially with the penalty. Obviously, it would have been a great deal harder if it had gone in," Kroos told reporters.
As it turned out, Bayern Munich found the game following that decision by referee Nicola Rizzoli infinitely easier against the ten men of Arsenal who held out for just ten minutes into the second half when Kroos scored his side’s opening goal with a sensational shot from the edge of the penalty area.
"I think that after the first five minutes, when we weren't quite in the game, we got the upper hand even when Arsenal still had 11 men. But then, of course, you're going to dominate a bit more when you're a player up,” he added.
The 24-year-old attacking midfielder was right in his assertion that the Bundesliga leaders dominated the game following Arsenal’s reduction. Bayern Munich enjoyed a massive 79% possession over 90 minutes after taking 53% in the first 15 minutes up to 60% by 30 minutes.
Arsenal held on at 1-0 in the tie for a further 30 minutes until Thomas Muller’s 88th minute goal, which leaves the Gunners with another mountain to climb in Munich in the second leg. However, Kroos still believes Arsene Wenger’s side could cause problems at the Allianz Arena:
"We're well aware it's not over by a long shot, as we saw last year. It was a step in the right direction but we're by no means through yet.”
The Gunners would have to scored two away goals without conceding just to level the tie but that is exactly what they achieved last year in their 2-0 win away that still saw them exit the competition.
image: © Steindy