Not only did Arsenal beat Bayern Munich on Tuesday night, but it was fully deserved.
Stats only tell part of a story; it’s possible to control a game without the ball. Bayern certainly dominated the ball at the Emirates Stadium, but they didn’t turn it into control of the game.
Over the 90 minutes, Arsenal had eight shots on target, while Bayern managed just six. Despite having 25.9% of the ball, Arsenal turned it into dangerous shots and then goals. In fact, they did so in a way no team has ever done more successfully to a Pep Guardiola left team.
8 – No team has ever managed more shots on target vs.a Pep Guardiola side in the UCL than the eight Arsenal mustered tonight. Riposte.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 20, 2015
Over the last two seasons, Guardiola’s Bayern Munich have lost 3-0 to Barcelona (also eight shots on target) and 4-0 to Real Madrid (five shots on target) but no side has ever kept Manuel Neuer – nor Victor Valdes – busier than Arsenal did on Tuesday with Pep Guardiola in the dugout.
The manager is truly one of the best in the world, though he’s far from infallible, and the stat is incredibly telling. Were it not for a superb save from Manuel Neuer, Arsenal would’ve taken the lead much earlier. Maybe the game would’ve been different, but that didn’t happen.
In six full seasons at Barcelona and Bayern Munich, Pep Guardiola has led his sides to two Champions League titles and four semi-finals. On Tuesday night, he took charge of the 77th Champions League game of his career, and no team has ever made his goalkeeper busier than Arsenal did.
Hats off to the player and Arsène Wenger for a fine performance.