Bayern Munich 5 Arsenal 1
( Lewandowski 10, Müller 29, 89, Alaba 44, Robben 55, Giroud 69)

The defeat was emphatic and almost came as a mercy when the eventual scoreline was Bayern Munich 5 Arsenal 1. Arsene Wenger can rarely have endured a worse night at the top European level, and having to face the German Champions without five key players from the first leg was always going to be a tough ask. Hector Bellerin and Laurent Koscielny became the latest players unavailable to Wenger, although the latter did have a place on the substitutes bench. The loss in the reverse fixture two weeks ago had stung Bayern, and their desire to make up for that perceived slight was evident from the off. Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Müller, David Alaba and Arjen Robben netted as the helpless Petr Cech and the travelling support wondered what was going on. Olivier Giroud got a consolation goal, but once again Wenger was left to witness the paucity of his squad, and his team who now face the real prospect of not qualifying for the last 16.

” You have to give credit to Bayern first for their quality and on top of that we made things quite easy for them. It was a bad defensive performance and we were extremely poor defensively. We were not at the races. The funny thing is that when we went forward we created good chances. We had a chance to score early but with a defensive performance like that, you go nowhere,” fumed Wenger.

With Olympiacos’s late winner at home to Dynamo Zagreb, both Bayern and the Greek side are now on 9 points. One more point and the two progress, meaning that the Gunners have to win their next two games if they are to cling on to their small chance of progression. That point was emphasised by Wenger.

” There is still a chance to qualify. Olympiacos have to lose here ( at Bayern ) we have to beat Zagreb and then we will see when we play Olympiacos away. It’s a small chance but it is a real one. We have to realise with that kind of performance that we had today that our chances are minimal.

” No matter what percentage we have, we have to dig in for the chance to qualify. We now have to focus on the Premier League on Sunday and bounce back with a different performance because we are in a good position in the league. It’s important that we realise what we did today and we know that.”

What Arsenal did was to allow Bayern all the space and time they wanted. Defensively it wasn’t pretty from the Gunners, but when there was no effective cover in front of the back line, and when no one sought to engage Müller and co, then the home side would always prosper.

Arsenal will have to bounce back in Sunday’s North London derby at the Emirates stadium. Confidence is so something which can go quickly and take time to re-emerge Wenger has said in the past. What a defeat like this can do is to kill the belief, but in the Premier League, the Gunners have enjoyed good performances and goals too. It is that which Arsenal must now focus on.

” We have to analyse it and not be too negative. That’s top-level sport. You can understand that you have to be strong enough to face a performance like tonight. It was not good enough and we will have to focus on the next game. We live in a world where you have to face reality,” noted Wenger.

The reality of Sunday’s North London derby should provide enough incentive to park their Champions League woes for now.