Hello, and welcome to Sports Mole
's live coverage of the second leg of the Champions League
last-16 tie between Arsenal
and Bayern Munich
This is usually the stage where I try to hype up the match and the possibility of a highly-competitive game but when one team is already four goals behind, it's pretty difficult. With 90 minutes still to play, Arsenal are still considered live in this tie but they are going to have to produce arguably the greatest performance in the club's history in order to pull off the unthinkable in North London.
Ahead of this game, it has also been reported that Arsenal have been hit with problems on the training pitch, with it being claimed that Alexis Sanchez
stormed out and was subsequently confronted by some of his teammates. All of that has been denied by Arsene Wenger
but it is widely believed that he has taken that stance to try to focus on more important matters ahead of another important week for the Gunners.
Anyway, without further ado, let's crack on with the team news. Does Sanchez start? What kind of team has Wenger selected? Let's find out...
ARSENAL XI: Ospina, Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Ramsey, Xhaka, Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Welbeck, Sanchez
ARSENAL SUBSTITUTES: Cech, Gibbs, Gabriel, Coquelin, Ozil, Perez, Giroud
BAYERN MUNICH XI: Neuer, Rafinha, Hummels, Martinez, Alaba, Alonso, Thiago, Ribery, Vidal, Robben, Lewandowski
BAYERN MUNICH SUBSTITUTES: Ulreich, Costa, Bernat, Muller, Coman, Kimmich, Sanches
What do you make of that, Arsenal fans? Wenger has effectively gone full strength, with Sanchez being recalled to the starting lineup alongside Walcott and Aaron Ramsey. David Ospina retains his place in goal after an excellent showing in the first leg and because he's the club's European stopper, while Mesut Ozil is deemed fit enough to earn a place among the substitutes alongside Lucas Perez and Olivier Giroud
Bayern boss Carlo Ancelotti
avoids the temptation to make wholesale changes to his side, but there are a couple of alterations from the first leg. Rafinha is in for the suspended Philipp Lahm while Franck Ribery gets the nod over Douglas Costa
HEAD TO HEAD!
Tonight's match represents the 13th time in which these two sides have faced each other in a competitive fixture, with Arsenal winning three times in comparison to the six victories for Bayern. There have been three matches to take place at the Emirates Stadium since 2013 and although Bayern won the first two, Arsenal prevailed 2-0 in their most recent clash in North London with Olivier Giroud
and Mesut Ozil getting the goals.
Images have emerged on social media of small protests taking place over the possibility of Arsene Wenger
signing a new contract at the Emirates Stadium. It's all a bit sad, really. I think many can understand the frustration around the club's recent achievements but putting up a few flags isn't going to make much of a difference when the Frenchman has been at the helm for more than two decades. Let's hope we don't see anything inside the ground which detracts from the game.
One piece of team news which I forgot to mention earlier was the absence of Alex Iwobi. He is ill so he misses out tonight.
The two stats below highlight the size of Arsenal's task this evening and how poor they have been at home in knockout-stage matches.
With less than 20 minutes to go until kickoff, let's get back to Sanchez. It remains to be seen what kind of reception he will receive tonight but you'd have to imagine it will be a positive one, despite his alleged behaviour. He is worshipped by the majority of Arsenal supporters and they will be aware that jeers will only act as a catalyst to his exit in the summer. Regardless of his welcome, however, it does seems inevitable that he will not sign another contract at the club and the fans will just be hoping that he continues to perform to the same levels in which he has done all season.
Staying on Sanchez and it appears that Arsenal legend Robert Pires - who apparently was there - has said that a bad tackle led to Sanchez walking out of training. Read into that what you will. His walk-out may have only led to the issue escalating when it really didn't need to...
We have not really spoken much on Bayern but we don't feel like we need to. They remain in top form in three competitions and we don't expect any changes to their usual tactics. Rather than trying to defend a 4-0 lead, Ancelotti will be on the look out for the away goal. Remember, if Bayern net once, Arsenal need five to force extra time. If they score twice, Arsenal need seven goals to advance.
PREDICTION! Of course, we expect Bayern to book their place in the quarter-finals but as for this game, we are going to go for a low-scoring draw. Arsenal need to start fast and Bayern will perhaps sit back in the opening stages but if they get one goal, expect Ancelotti to instruct his players not to expand much energy and see out the tie. We are going for 1-1.
The two teams have made their way out at the Emirates Stadium. We have some late team news to bring you too. Danny Welbeck felt ill either during or after the warm-up so he has been replaced by Olivier Giroud.
Bayern get us underway at the Emirates.
I mentioned about the potential protests. The 'Wenger out' brigade are throwing missiles (rolls of toilet paper) onto the pitch and it has brought a halt to the match. We are back underway but there was over a minute delay then.
I must apologise. It's the Bayern fans who are throwing things onto the pitch. They are protesting about the cost of ticket prices. It's always reasonable in Germany, so I can their logic, to a degree. Anyway, back to the football...
You would be forgiven for thinking that Bayern are the home side. They are dominating possession and pushing Arsenal back. The Gunners aren't really getting a look-in right now. Robben against Monreal looks a mis-match.
SHOT! This is incredibly easy. Alonso plays a corner towards the edge of the box and Alaba has plenty of time to get his shot away, with his effort going a couple of yards wide of the post.
Almost a chance for Arsenal. Walcott thinks he is about to round Neuer but the goalkeeper is out to see off the opportunity as quickly as the chance came about.
CHANCE! Much better from Arsenal, who win a corner after a shot from Bellerin is deflected wide. The set piece leads to a deflected cross nearly finding its way to Giroud, with his deflected header going inches wide of the post. There were a lot of deflections there...
I was critical of Arsenal's start to this game but they are definitely the better team now. On a couple of occasions, they would have been in had it not been for the boot of a Bayern player. If they find a way to break the deadlock, who knows what may follow.
GOAL! Arsenal 1-0 Bayern Munich (Walcott)
That's the first one! Walcott counts on good fortune to help him move past a couple of defenders and with no-one in the middle, he lashes a thunderous effort into the roof of the net from an acute angle. Do they believe they can do this? We will see over the next 10 minutes.
Arsenal are going after a second but Bayern remind them of the threat they carry in the opposite final third. A move down the right ends in a cross for Vidal but he is harshly adjudged to have fouled a defender when heading the ball on target.
Falling behind has sparked Bayern into life and they are starting to get a grip of this game. They push forward with such flair and efficiency but so far, they can't find that away goal. Arsenal haven't threatened in the last few minutes.
This game is developing into a back-and-forth encounter - I'm not who that suits! Arsenal are impressing here but they have to be careful. Concede once and you'd think that it was game over.
Big controversy at the Emirates Stadium. On first viewing, Walcott appears to have thrown himself to the ground far too easily but it's a stonewall penalty after a mistimed challenge from Alonso.
CHANCE! Moments later, Walcott finds himself in a similar position to where he scored his opener but he makes the wrong choice and tries to replicate his goal. On this occasion, with teammates in the box, he sent his effort into the side-netting.
SHOT! While Walcott has been Arsenal's best player, Vidal has been Bayern's most impressive performer. He tries his luck from 30 yards but his effort goes wide.
CHANCE! This tie should be over. Robben bides his time before clipping the ball through to meet the run of Lewandowski but he hooks his first-time volley wide of the post from 12 yards.
BOOKINGS! Walcott is pumped up for this game but his over-enthusiasm results in a booking after a minor scuffle with Alaba. The left-back was also cautioned.
How on earth has Vidal avoided a booking here? He goes straight through countryman Sanchez but the referee only awards a free kick.
BOOKING! This one is given. Ramsey deceives Martinez and the defender has no option but to foul him on the edge of the penalty area. Free kick around 20 to 25 yards out...
SHOT! Sanchez's strike is on target but it is straight at Neuer. There will be one minute of added-on time.
HALF TIME: Arsenal 1-0 Bayern Munich
The half-time whistle goes at the Emirates Stadium and Arsenal lead thanks to that 20th-minute goal from Walcott. They have just about been the better team but Bayern look threatening on the counter and still hold a three-goal advantage on aggregate.
The two teams are back out at the Emirates. There doesn't appear to be any changes from either side.
Arsenal get us back underway.
CHANCE! Giroud has to be scoring this. Ramsey does superbly inside the box before floating the ball towards the Frenchman but he mistimes his jump and heads over from no more than 10 yards.
This has developed into a cracking game. It's effectively Arsenal ploughing forward in numbers and Bayern waiting for their chance to have four on three. All of the Arsenal players want possession of the ball but they need to be careful not to over commit.
PENALTY TO BAYERN MUNICH!
RED CARD! Koscielny is dismissed for a shove on Lewandowski with the Pole likely to net for Bayern. He was initially shown a yellow, so there's huge confusion.
GOAL! Arsenal 1-1 Bayern Munich (Lewandowski)
Tie over. Lewandowski sends Ospina the wrong way from the spot. Arsenal were annoyed with the decision to send Koscielny off but I don't think they can have many complaints.
We encourage you to keep following this match but we haven't got high expectations for this closing half-hour. It's all Bayern now in terms of possession and Arsenal have basically accepted defeat. They would need four without reply to take this to extra time.
BOOKING! Oxlade-Chamberlain goes into the book fr his reaction to giving a foul away. Fair decision. Arsenal are frustrated right now.
CHANCE! Big chance for Lewandowski to head in his second but he sends it just over the crossbar. Thiago - who has been excellent - set up the chance with an audacious flick.
SAVE! It's straight at him but this save from Ospina is superb. Lewandowski should score from around 14 yards out but he sees the goalkeeper tip his shot over the crossbar.
GOAL! Arsenal 1-2 Bayern Munich (Robben)
Bayern have pushed Arsenal back into their own half ever since the sending off and they finally make their pressure pay off. A poor clearance from Ospina puts Arsenal into the trouble and a neat flick from Lewandowski contributes to Robben running clear to easily convert past the goalkeeper from 12 yards.
SUBSTITUTION! That proves to be Robben's action of the night as Costa comes on to replace him.
SUBSTITUTIONS! Triple change for Arsenal as Francois Coquelin, Mesut Ozil and Lucas Perez replace Ramsey, Giroud and Sanchez.
There's just the 15 minutes left at the Emirates Stadium. There's not a whole lot happening but Arsenal are still trying to at least get back on level terms on the night.
WOODWORK! Costa has been lively since his introduction and he twists and turns on the left before crossing for Lewandowski. The forward should score from 10 yards out but his first-time effort strikes the post.
GOAL! Arsenal 1-3 Bayern Munich (Costa)
This is good. Really good. Bayern break in numbers yet again and after biding his time, he switches the ball onto his left foot before finding the bottom corner from 20 yards.
GOAL! Arsenal 1-4 Bayern Munich (Vidal)
This is getting embarrassing. A mistake from Mustafi lets in Bayern again and after the ball is played through to Vidal, he clips the ball over Ospina and watches it roll into the net.
GOAL! Arsenal 1-5 Bayern Munich (Vidal)
A through-ball releases Costa and all he has to do is tee up Vidal to tap home from inside the penalty area. Bayern are into double figures.
Moments ago, Bellerin clipped the outside of the post for Arsenal. There will be three minutes of added-on time.
FULL TIME: Arsenal 1-5 Bayern Munich
The full-time whistle goes at the Emirates Stadium and Arsenal have bowed out of the Champions League in tame fashion. They were in the tie at half time but the sending off of Koscielny led to Bayern running riot.
That will be all from Sports Mole for this game. Thank you for joining us this evening and we hope to see you again for the matches that we have available for you tomorrow night. Goodbye for now.