Arsenal player-ratings v Bayern: The Ox and Fabianski shine

Arsenal drew 1-1 with Bayern Munich in the Allianz Arena on Tuesday evening, and here is how their players fared...

Arsenal fell short in their quest to qualify for the quarter-finals of the Champions League, as their 2-0 first-leg defeat to Bayern Munich ultimately proved costly.  

There was much for them to be proud of from their performance against the reigning European champions.  But they will wonder what might have been had they just, well, gone for it.

Below we rate the Arsenal performance player-by-player:

Lukasz Fabianski 8

The Arsenal goalkeeper made some fine saves and did everything that was asked of him. When he saved Thomas Muller’s penalty in the dying minutes it was more than just a small victory in a personal battle of wits; it also ensured the Gunners left the Allianz Arena undefeated for the second successive season, and that is no mean feat.

Bacary Sagna 6

Sagna was caught out early on, when Bayern exploited the wings to great effect. However, he grew into the game and was far more effective in the second half. However he did little of note in an attacking sense.

Thomas Vermaelen 7

He may have been playing in an unfavoured position having spent the majority of the season watching from the bench, but the club captain put in a shift against the German champions. Like Sagna he suffered during the Bayern blitz down the flanks in the first half, but he was very impressive for much of the match and proved he still has a lot to give.

Per Mertesacker 8

The hosts rarely challenged through the middle, and that had plenty to do with the imposing German centre-back. He was composed throughout and when Bayern did attack from central areas, they were mostly forced to take long shots that were dealt with by Fabianski.

Laurent Koscielny 7

Koscielny was doing just as well as his defensive partner but had a mark taken off for a silly foul on Arjen Robben in the final minutes that led to a penalty. While there was not much in the challenge, the Dutchman needed no excuse to go down and having done the hard work to guide Robben away from goal, the Arsenal defender really should have stood strong.

Mikel Arteta 6

Arteta tracked back well on occasions but was pushing his luck a little by the end, after one booking could have easily been followed by a second. When he got his foot on the ball he looked to create chances, but at times the Gunners’ midfield was simply overrun.

Santi Cazorla 5

It was a disappointing and uninspiring night for the Spaniard, who failed to create much going forward and was at fault when Bastian Schweinsteiger ghosted in to open the scoring. The German international had already done the same on more than one occasion in the first half, but he was allowed free reign in the penalty area to knock calmly past a helpless Fabianski.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 9

What is there to say about the young England star other than he was fantastic. Two runs in particular in the first half had the Bayern defence panicking, with both leading to fouls on the young winger. And he always looked the best attacking option for an Arsenal side who were penned in for much of the first half.

Time and again, Oxlade-Chamberlain simply collected the ball and ran with it. And he was by far Arsenal’s most impressive player prior to his substitution. The only thing that was missing was the composure that will come with experience.

Lukas Podolski 7

It was certainly a game of two halves for the German, who did little in the first 45 minutes before coming alive after his goal out of nothing. He was probably as surprised as anyone when the referee did not blow for a foul on Philipp Lahm, but Podolski did brilliantly to play to the whistle and blast the ball past Manuel Neuer.

For a time, it looked like that goal would be the spark for an unlikely comeback. But it was not to be.

Mesut Ozil 4

The German play-maker had enjoyed a renaissance against Everton last weekend. But tonight he was a shadow of that player, looking out of sorts and contributing little. He would leave the field at half-time with a reported tight hamstring, but it was clear this was not going to be his game from very early on.

Olivier Giroud 6

Giroud played a good ball to set up the equaliser for Podolski, and he looked busy at times, chasing down chances and attempting to play his way into the game. Late on he had the chance to put some shine on the match by snatching a winner, but he did okay without ever really pulling up trees.


Tomas Rosicky (on for Mesut Ozil) 7

The Czech magician did considerably better than the man he replaced, and it was his introduction that saw Arsenal really begin to play with renewed confidence.

Serge Gnabry (on for Mikel Arteta) 6

He may have been the least experienced played on the pitch, but in his brief cameo he had two good chances to score and he was a menace from the right. It makes you wonder what might have happened if he had been introduced sooner.

Mathieu Flamini (on for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain) 5

The Frenchman was a surprise omission from the team, and considering the way the game went, it would be interesting to know if Wenger regrets that particular decision. But either way, he came on late and did what he does.

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