Arsenal 0 Bayern Munich 2
Kroos 54, Muller 88

Arsenal suffered defeat in their last 16 Champions League first leg clash at the Emirates stadium with Bayern Munich’s clinical efficiency proving too much for the Gunners. Despatched out of Europe’s top cup competition at the same stage and by the same opposition last season, Arsenal had made a fist of it until they were reduced to ten men after 37 minutes.

Wojciech Szczesny was shown a straight red card for his challenge on Arjen Robben as he went through on goal. The Holland midfielder had his boot high and that should have been taken into consideration by Italian referee Nicola Rizzoli.

David Alaba missed the spot kick to match that of Mesut Özil’s poor penalty awarded when he was brought down by Jerome Boateng after nine minutes. Manuel Neuer knows all about Özil’s preference from twelve yards and got a strong hand to the ball to deny his German team mate.

Toni Kroos struck with little back lift to give the Bundesliga side the lead after 54 minutes. Overwhelmed by their constant forays from the right, Arsenal rocked and fell further behind when substitute Thomas Muller headed in past Lukasz Fabianksi.

Özil is certainly going through a poor run of form, and if ever he needed to deliver, tonight was the night. Sadly for Arsene Wenger’s record signing, the low point keeps on getting a new floor, and in this frame of mind, with no hope of upturn for Özil.

Impressed by the start of Yaya Sanogo in the FA Cup elimination of Liverpool, Wenger gave the France youngster another start. Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski were among the substitutes. Sanogo certainly plays with no fear and crafted an early strike which Neuer was forced to save. There can’t have been many games when the noise levels at the Emirates stadium have been as high as they were here, and Arsenal responded accordingly. Santi Cazolra tested Neuer, but that earlier sighter from Kroos forcing Szczesny to save at full stretch was an ominous warning.

Still the pace of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Bacary Sagna and Sanogo was causing Bayern to panic. At the back Per Mertersscker and Laurent Koscielny looked assured, but Kieran Gibbs was forced to be withdrawn with an injury and was replaced by Nacho Monreal. That became the point of reference for the visitors attacks and although his every touch was booed, Robben was sensing the chances.

Bayern are 16 points clear of second placed Bayer Leverkusen in Bundesliga and will not have experienced too many tests of this calibre. It is a shame that the game was now a largely Arsenal defence trying to stem the German tide.

Philipp Lahm swept forward and cut back to Kroos to steal past Fabianski for the opener. With no attack outlet and a numerical disadvantage, all nine Arsenal outfield players were required to dig in.

Two minutes from time, the visitors doubled their advantage, Robben had seen several chances just wide of target, but once again having had substitute Rafinha join in their attacks, it was to be Lahm again to supply Muller to swoop a header past Fabianki.

Arsenal have been to Munich and recorded a win last season, which proved to be too little too late. This time around, Wenger’s first target will be to keep eleven players on the pitch, and then hope that they can not only match, but then contain their Bavarian hosts in the return leg. It is possible.