At times, as Arsenal’s players flickered in and out of focus during a traumatic second half in Munich, it was almost possible beneath the roars and whoops and gurgles of a sated home crowd to hear the sound of something else. Departures, farewells, changing trains, a little distant exit applause.
For Arsenal perhaps the most demoralising part is that nobody can even be greatly surprised any more.
Arsenal star promised a big performance in Munich.
The final 120 seconds of Bayern Munich’s win at Ingolstadt on Saturday could not have painted a more apt picture of their season so far under Carlo Ancelotti.
Arsenal were a little late getting to Bayern Munich’s Allianz Arena on the eve of their last 16 first-leg tie. Perhaps with this in mind Arsène Wenger was particularly brusque with the suggestion that his team’s ability to break a six-season run of instant elimination from the Champions League knockout stages might be a decisive factor in his own continued tenure as Arsenal coach.
There simply had to be some sort of tribute and, in the event, there was more than one, conscious and subconscious.
With the score at 0-0 against Hull and Arsenal spluttering, the ball came out of the air to Mesut Özil. The Germany midfielder was in an advanced position, unmarked on the edge of the six-yard box.
Arsenal and Bayern Munich will face each other in the last 16 of the Champions League this season.
Paul Clement has been given permission by Bayern Munich to speak with Swansea City about the Premier League club’s managerial vacancy. As a result, the 44-year-old will not travel with the Bundesliga club to Doha for a warm-weather training camp which starts on Tuesday and lasts until 11 January.