MX23RW : Monday, July 23 00:30:17

Live Commentary: Arsenal 1-3 Bayern Munich - as it happened

Live Commentary: Arsenal 1-3 Bayern Munich - as it happened
© AP Photos
Sports Mole brings you live text updates as Arsenal meet Bayern Munich in the knockout stages of the Champions League.

Arsenal went into tonight's opening leg against Bayern Munich knowing that the Champions League was the last competition that they had a chance of winning this season.

As it was, their chances of lifting the trophy in May look extremely bleak now.

Toni Kroos and Thomas Muller but visiting Bayern 2-0 up at the break and although Lukas Podolski pulled one back for the Gunners after the restart, Mario Mandzukic restored the two-goal margin shortly after.

You can find out the match unfolded with our minute-by-minute commentary below.

6.46pmEvening all. Well, it's the one that all Arsenal fans have been waiting for. Your side is just one hour away from coming up against the best side in Germany at this moment in time. There's been so much talking about this match (thanks Mr Wenger) - let's hope that it lives up to expectations.

6.48pmBefore we get into all the pre-match chat and rants (again, thanks Mr Wenger) - the teams news from the Emirates Stadium is just beginning to filter through. Who has made the cut?

6.49pmARSENAL XI: Szczesny; Sagna, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Vermaelen; Arteta, Ramsey, Wilshere; Cazorla, Podolski, Walcott

6.52pmAs expected, Olivier Giroud has missed out on a spot in the Arsenal starting lineup. It appears that Wenger is keen for a more mobile attack and has gone with Santi Cazorla, Lukas Podolski and Theo Walcott instead. There is also some movement in defence, with Per Mertesacker coming in at centre-back, which in turn has moved Thomas Vermaelen out to left-back.

6.53pmBAYERN XI: Neuer; Lahm, Van Buyten, Dante, Alaba; Schweinsteiger, Martinez; Kroos, Muller, Ribery; Mandzukic

6.54pmWow, that is a little bit scary, isn't it? You can see why Bayern are romping away in the Budesliga right now. There are very few surprises in that lineup. Javi Martinez has overcome a foot injury to start, while Manuel Neuer is also passed fit to feature in goal despite a bruised hand. The likes of Toni Kroos, Thomas Muller and Franck Ribery are also included.

6.57pmPerhaps there is one weakness in that side that Arsenal could exploit though. While Daniel van Buyten has been a good defender, he is now 35 years old and is not exactly overly blessed with pace. That may be behind Wenger's decision to play three lively players in attack. The big Belgian would not normally play, but Jerome Boateng is absent.

6.58pmOne person that does believe that Arsenal are capable of winning tonight (nobody else seems to) is Everton skipper Phil Neville. Here is what he has just posted on Twitter:

"I've got a real sneaky feeling for an arsenal victory tonight-not sure over two legs tho but tonight yes!"

7.02pmRight then, it's been put off long enough - Wenger's actions yesterday afternoon have to be discussed! I don't think the Frenchman has ever reacted like that in press conference. Yes he can come across as stubborn, blunt and unapproachable at times - but this was on a whole different level. It seems that the pressure of not winning a trophy in eight years is getting to him now. It's put even more extra significance on this game.

7.05pmFor those of you that haven't seen it, although I cannot imagine anyone has missed it, enjoy:

7.09pmSome have said that Wenger has lost the plot. That isn't the case, obviously, but he does look to be struggling under the pressure. A win tonight could lift a huge weight off his shoulders. And he knows all about beating Bayern Munich at home. When the two sides last met in England in 2005, Arsenal won 1-0 thanks to a goal from Thierry Henry. However, they did lose out overall 3-2 on aggregate.

7.12pmThe Arsenal team that night by the way was: Lehmann; Lauren, Toure, Senderos, Cole; Ljungberg, Flamini, Vieira, Reyes; Bergkamp, Henry. Not bad, hey? For good measure, Robin van Persie, Cesc Fabregas and Robert Pires all came off the bench as well. What Arsenal fans would give to have a side of that quality on the pitch this evening? A lot, I would imagine.

7.15pmOne player that played that evening, Lauren, has called upon the supporters to get behind Wenger and his team this evening. The former Cameroon international was speaking to BBC Radio Five Live:

"The fans have to believe in the manager. Since Arsene Wenger came to Arsenal he has done a lot for the club and won lots of trophies. We have so much criticism that sometimes you don't see the bigger picture. His record at Arsenal is fantastic. The club has improved in many ways.

"They have a fantastic training ground and new stadium and the team always play in the Champions League. Despite losing to Blackburn the team is going to respond well. The whole team will be desperate to beat Bayern."

7.20pmThere are so many potential headline grabbers out there tonight. Take Lukas Podolski - he joined Bayern in 2006 as Germany's next big thing. So much was expected of him in Bavaria, but he struggled to cope with the pressure and returned to Koln in 2009. He has a chance this evening to show Munich exactly what he is capable of. His goalscoring record in Europe has been good for Arsenal, having scored three times in five outings.

7.25pmPodolski has been talking ahead of this tie and he admits that the Gunners will begin the encounter as the underdogs:

"Bayern are favourites, no doubt about that. In two games we will have our chances to reach the next round. You can be sure, we will not sit and wait to find out what Bayern does. We have the quality to stand our ground against them."

7.29pmIt seems that no matter what you talk about with regards to this match, it always ends up back with Wenger. Former Arsenal keeper and coach Bob Wilson is the latest to stick up for the Frenchman. Below is what he said to BBC Radio Five Live:

"Obviously Arsene sounded very tetchy. I'm sure if he listened back to that press conference, he would regret the way he conducted it.

"But I would like to put a couple of things straight. With the contract situation, I've checked with the press office, He was trying to say there was a story in the national papers yesterday, and not one corporation checked it out with the press office. The truth is that story is not true.

"I didn't like what I heard today. Every half-hour on my drive here, I've heard Stewart Robson quoted criticising Arsene. Stewart is a guy who worked here, and is obviously a bitter guy because he's no longer got employment here. You have to take into account why Arsene is feeling like he is."

7.33pmIt's actually just dawned on me that you've not been informed of who is on both benches. Well, let's put that right, shall we?

ARSENAL: Mannone, Diaby, Rosicky, Giroud, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Coquelin, Jenkinson

BAYERN: Starke, Robben, Shaqiri, Rafinha, Gustavo, Gomez, Tymoschuk

7.37pmEven the Bayern bench is packed with quality. While the likes of Arjen Robben and Mario Gomez are well-known to us, Xherdan Shaqiri is a player that has gone under the radar somewhat. He joined Bayern from FC Basel in the summer and has impressed during his 22 appearances. The Arsenal replacements may not boast the big names but it does include the likes of Giroud and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, both of whom are capable of changing the game.

7.41pmRight then, the players are in the tunnel and Arsenal's Mertesacker is busy reacquainting himself with some of his international colleagues. It's a big night for the Arsenal defender up against Mario Mandzukic, who has been in great form this season.

7.42pmA quick tweet from Michael Owen: "Looking forward to this. Bayern Munich were my pre tournament fancies." You and me both Michael.

7.44pmSo, the players are now out on the pitch and here comes that famous old anthem. It always sends a tingle or two down the spine. Not long now until we are off and running at the Emirates. How are the nerves Arsenal fans?

1 minThere's a lot of smoke looming over the playing surface as we get started. That's thanks to the Bayern fans, who have let off a rather large flare in the away section. It looks like this match is being played in the fog!

3 minFirst attack of the match is mounted by Arsenal and they probably should have done a little better. Jack Wilshere picked out Santi Cazorla wide on the right with a reverse pass. The little Spaniard moves into the Bayern area, but his cross is poor and Neuer is able to collect with ease. That's a wasted opportunity for the Gunners.

6 minMore positive play from Arsenal as Walcott raids down the right wing unmarked. He sends over a skidding cross, which Podolski cannot quite reach and Lahm is on hand to send the ball out for a corner, which comes to nothing. It's been a good start by the home side.

7 minGOAL! Arsenal 0-1 Bayern (Kroos)

7 minGOAL! Arsenal 0-1 Bayern (Kroos)

9 minWow, what a goal from Toni Kroos. Bayern have done nothing during the opening exchanges and yet they lead. The ball works its way to the German international on the edge of the area and he sends an instant half-volley flying into the net beyond Wojciech Szczesny, who could barely have seen the ball. That is one of the goals of the tournament. From an Arsenal point of view, it already looks a long way back.

13 minHaving gone in front, Bayern are now stroking the ball around with ease. They look like a well-oiled machine. It's ominous signs for the Gunners. Their best chance looks to be getting Walcott on the ball and him running at Lahm. He's a good defender, but no player likes coming up against pace.

16 minThe first sighting we've had of Bastian Schweinsteiger sees him curl a free kick from 20 yards out off his own player and out for a goal kick. Replays show that had the ball gone straight through, it could have caused Szczesny a problem or two in the Arsenal goal.

18 minPiers Morgan is obviously not an Aaron Ramsey fan. Here's what he had to say about the Welsh midfielder on Twitter:

"Took Ramsey eight minutes to mess it up. Quite good by his standards."

20 minGOAL! Arsenal 0-2 Bayern (Muller)

23 minWe've only played 20 minutes and Arsenal are heading for a Champions League exit. Where an earth was the marking as Van Buyten headed goalwards from close range? Credit to Szczesny because he got a hand to the Belgian's effort, but Thomas Muller was on hand to lift the ball into the roof of the net from a yard out. This could become really embarrassing for Arsenal at this rate.

25 minBOOKING! Two of them to be precise. First Bacary Sagna sees yellow for a late challenge and then Mikel Arteta commits a similar offence. Both are correctly cautioned. Arsenal are struggling to keep their composure at the moment. Getting a player sent off would just about top it off.

29 minThis is far too easy for Bayern at the moment. They almost look a little embarrassed to go forward because it is far too simple. Their supporters are also making a lot of noise. They've just treated us to a rendition of 'Football's Coming Home'.

33 minPiers Morgan is currently having a field day on Twitter. It's almost more entertaining than the match! Here's some of his latest offerings:

"Bayern look like Wenger's old trophy-winning Arsenal teams - tall, powerful, fast, skilful, aggressive, focused."


"Who on earth would put Cazorla on the wing and Ramsey centre midfield against Bayern Munich? Wenger's completely lost it."

37 minBOOKING! It's now Bayern's turn to get issued with a yellow card as goalscorer Muller is cautioned. It's a harsh one, because it didn't look like he made much contact with Wilshere. That's about the only thing that has gone right for Arsenal so far.

40 minA correction to that Bayern booking moments ago. It wasn't Muller who saw yellow. Instead, it was Schweinsteiger who was cautioned for dissent towards the referee. That means he will miss the return leg in Munich, although as it stands, I don't think it will bother the Germans too much.

43 minWith around three or four minutes until the break, Arsenal could really do with a goal before the whistle. It would not only help them, but also the fans, who are quiet in the extreme. Not that you can blame them. It would also provide the team with something to attack in the second half.

44 minCHANCE! Got to confess, I'd though Mandzukic had scored. The Croatian was picked out inside the area with a floated cross by Lahm and he powered a header towards the bottom corner. Szczesny was well beaten, but thankfully for Arsenal the ball flashed inches wide of the post. Great effort from the Bayern striker.

45 minThere will be two minutes of stoppage time here...

45+2 minHALF-TIME: Arsenal 0-2 Bayern

8.34pmA mixture of boos and 'come on Arsenal' greet the half-time whistle at the Emirates Stadium. The home faithful have seen their side outclassed in every single area you can imagine. It's a big team talk for Wenger, but in truth, they need a miracle to get through this tie. Yes they have another match in Munich to come, but you can only see that going one way.

8.38pmRather than me summing up that half, here's some more from Piers Morgan. He really isn't a happy camper right now:

"I'm deadly serious about Heynckes to replace Wenger. We should pay him whatever he wants - his Bayern team are magnificent. This is our best team - the culmination of Wenger's rebuilding strategy since the Invincibles. And we're getting humiliated.

"Shocking first half....just shocking. Wenger's wrecking his once-imperious reputation more and more with every day he stays at #Arsenal. So we deliberately blew any chance of the FA Cup for this farce? Shameful management. #WengerOut."

8.41pmThe statistics will tell you that Arsenal had two shots on target during the opening 45 minutes. Two? They must have eluded me! Bayern have had seven efforts in total, four of which have landed on target. They've also had 55% of the possession, which seems a tad low.

8.43pmIf things don't change in the second half, and it doesn't look likely - let's be honest, where does Wenger go from here? His side will be out of every cup competition and are way behind Manchester United in the Premier League. Has he taken Arsenal as far as he can? It's got to be a question the Frenchman is surely asking himself, no matter what he says in public.

8.46pmAnother person addicted to Twitter it seems is Joey Barton. Here is what he made of Arsenal's first-half performance:

"Arsenal of old would of gotten right amongst Bayern tonight. This team just doesn't have the nastiness needed to win things. For all the flair, pace, skill and technic, you need can't beat a bit of old fashioned aggression."

45 minHere we go then, Bayern Munich, kicking from left to right, get the second half started. Big 45 minutes ahead for the Gunners.

49 minIt's been a positive start from Arsenal. Okay, they haven't called Neuer into action, but they've been strong in the tackle and are not letting Bayern settle in possession. It's also lifted the crowd a little bit to. They do need to start having a few shots though.

53 minThe Bayern defence is currently standing firm. Just when it looks as though Arsenal have carved out a chance, the door is immediately slammed shut in the their face. The latest to be denied is Wilshere, who sees his shot from distance bravely blocked by Dante. It's going to take either something special or a mistake to unlock this Bayern rearguard.

54 minGOAL! Arsenal 1-2 Bayern (Podolski)

56 minAnd right on cue, there is the mistake! Firstly the referee gives a corner that should never have been given and when it is swung over, Neuer is caught in no man's land. Lukas Podolski makes him pay by nodding the ball into an unguarded net from six yards out. If the Emirates had a roof, it would have been blown off as the ball crossed the line.

58 minBOOKING! Having escaped a caution earlier in the match, goalscorer Muller now sees yellow. He complains, but he was late on Vermaelen. It's one of those that are only given in Champions League football.

62 minCHANCE! Big opportunity for Bayern to restore that two-goal margin goes astray. Szczesny comes to meet a corner from Kroos and gets nowhere near the ball. Javi Martinez does, but he only succeeds in nodding over the crossbar from close range. The Spaniard should have done much, much better with that chance.

64 minSUBSTITUTION: First switch of the night as a quiet Franck Ribery is taken off and on in his place is Arjen Robben. Unsurprisingly, the former Chelsea winger's appearance is greeted by jeers from the home support.

67 minBOOKING! Podolski tries to argue, although he doesn't have a leg to stand on. He went over the top of the ball and caught Robben on the shin. It's a clear booking for the former Bayern player. Then, moments later Aaron Ramsey sees yellow for tripping up Muller. This referee loves dishing out his cards!

70 minSUBSTITUTION: First and second roll of the dice by Wenger as he takes off Ramsey and Podolski and brings on Giroud and Rosicky. That is likely to mean that Walcott will move out wide.

72 minSAVE! Giroud goes close to scoring with his first touch. Walcott hooks over a cross from the right, which the French striker meets on the bounce. It's a powerful hit, but Neuer is able to get his body behind the ball and push it clear to safety. That's positive from Arsenal. They've got to somehow win this match to stand any chance of getting through you feel.

74 minSUBSTITUTION: Second change of the night for Bayern as the impressive Kroos is given a breather. Luis Gustavo comes on his place, which means Bayern are looking to tighten things up a little. That's not to say they won't score again, because with the way that Arsenal have defended tonight, anything is possible!

77 minGOAL! Arsenal 1-3 Bayern (Mandzukic)

79 minAnd that could be curtains as far Arsenal's Champions League campaign is concerned. It's a slick move from Bayern, with the ball eventually being worked out to Lahm on the right byline. His cross is met by Mario Mandzukic, who sees the ball loop up into the air and cross the line just before Szczesny could intervene. That was actually the Croatian's last contribution because he has since been replaced by Mario Gomez.

82 minSAVE! Bayern should be over the hill and far away now. Szczesny gets down to parry clear Gustavo's shot from distance, but the rebound drops to Gomez. The striker has all the time in the world and options to square the ball to, but he goes for power and sends the ball way over the bar. A bit of composure there and Bayern would surely have scored a fourth.

86 minArsenal are now seeing plenty of the ball, but that is because Bayern are more than happy with what they have. They know that the tie is as good as over if they can hold out. Arsenal are pushing forward, but do not looking like scoring.

88 minBOOKING! Yet another yellow card - that's eight for night. This time it's the Bayern skipper Lahm, who blatantly slides in late on Vermaelen as he moved down towards the left byline. It's a clever booking in a way because he has slowed Arsenal down.

90 minThere will be three minutes of stoppage time here at the Emirates...

90+3 minFULL TIME: Arsenal 1-3 Bayern

9.36pmWell, that was painful if you are of an Arsenal persuasion. You've got to say that Bayern deserved that, despite the home side's best efforts in the second half. The second leg looks to be a forgone conclusion if truth be told. Arsenal need a miracle.

9.37pmThat's all we have time for from the Emirates. Thanks for joining us this evening and be sure to look out for our analysis of the match, which will be with shortly. Goodbye.

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Bayern Munich's Thomas Mueller is congratulated by his team mates after scoring the opener on December 8, 2012
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