Result: Bayern Munich crush Arsenal in first leg

Arsenal are on the brink of exiting the Champions League following a 3-1 loss in the first leg of their tie against Bayern Munich.

A 3-1 victory over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium has seen Bayern Munich make a big step towards qualifying for the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

Bayern made the best possible start to the tie, opening the scoring in the seventh minute when Toni Kroos fired a half-volley past the outstretched hand of Wojciech Szczesny.

Bayern's Thomas Muller scores the second against Arsenal on February 19, 2013© AP Photos

The Emirates Stadium was silenced by the early goal and Arsenal struggled to settle against their German opponents.

Arsene Wenger's side were dealt a further blow when Szczesny pushed Daniel van Buyten's header into the path of Thomas Muller, who easily tapped the ball into the back of the net from close range.

The Gunners failed to create any clear opportunities before the interval and could have conceded a third when Mario Mandzukic rose highest in the area but the striker couldn't find the target with his header.

Arsenal pulled a goal back just 10 minutes into the second half as Lukas Podolski took advantage of some sloppy defending and poor goalkeeping from Manuel Neuer to head into an empty net.

The hosts improved considerably after Podolski's strike and Wenger reacted by introducing Tomas Rosicky and Olivier Giroud to the game, with the latter drilling a volley straight at Neuer just seconds later.

However, it was Bayern who snatched the crucial fourth goal when Phillip Lahm's low cross was scrambled into the net by Mandzukic.

Arsenal desperately searched for a way back into the game in the closing stages, with Jack Wilshere seeing a powerful effort blocked by Neuer but the visitors held on for a vital away victory.

Bayern's Thomas Muller scores the second against Arsenal on February 19, 2013
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