A fantastic card display and edgy atmosphere set the scene at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday night, where Olivier Giroud and Mesut Özil scored the only goals against German champions Bayern Munich.
Heading into the game, Arsenal had no points from two Champions League groups games. Bayern had won all 12 competitive games they’d played this season. But the Gunners are still alive in Europe.
The start of the first half saw Bayern dominate the ball, but the first chance fell Arsenal’s way. Dangerous on the break throughout the first half, Manuel Neuer made a superb save low down to deny Mesut Özil before Philipp Lahm blocked Alexis Sánchez’ rebound.
At the other end, Bayern continue to push Arsenal back. The German side rarely moved the ball quickly but when they did, they looked dangerous. Douglas Costa gave Héctor Bellerín trouble on the wing but the best chance came through Thiago, who forced Petr Čech into a brilliant save after exchanging passes with Thomas Müller.
The following 15 minutes saw few shots as Bayern calmly built the pressure. However, Arsène Wenger’s side held on and rallied before the break. Theo Walcott had two feeble efforts saved by Manuel Neuer, but also asked the keeper a much bigger question. A header from six yards was incredibly clawed away by the best goalkeeper in the world.
A series of blocked Bayern efforts drew an exciting half to a close, but only once a penalty appeal against Alexis was ignored. The Chilean did handle in the box, but got away with it.
Bayern started the second half incredibly well, with Arsenal constantly struggling to win the ball back. Douglas Costa and Robert Lewandowski both sent chances over Čech’s goal before Aaron Ramsey had to go off holding his hamstring.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain replaced the Welshman 25 minutes from time. Still no breakthrough and Arsène Wenger turned to Olivier Giroud with 15 minutes to play.
Unfortunately, the tide wasn’t turned. Čech pulled off an outstanding save as Robert Lewandowski was through on goal.
At the other end, Giroud made the difference. First winning a free-kick, the Frenchman got on the end of it after Manuel Neuer had come but failed to make the cross. One-nil to the Arsenal.
A comeback couldn’t be rallied by Bayern, and Mesut Özil scored the second. The ball was just given just over the line. Game over, Arsenal inflicted Pep Guardiola’s second Champions League defeat at the Emirates Stadium to stay in the Champions League fight.