Arsenal completely fell apart in Munich after the loss of their captain to injury and now face yet another Last 16 Mission Impossible to qualify for the next round.

The usual pre-match conversation was dominated by Arsene Wenger’s team selection. The boss was going old-school, wheeling out the 4-42 he had so much success with when he first arrived at the club. Until he met Cesc Fabregas and everything changed.

Stringing a midfield of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Granit Xhaka, Francis Coquelin and Alex Iwobi in front of a Nacho-less back four, Wenger tasked Mesut Ozil with playing second striker to Alexis Sanchez’s vibrating spearhead.

David Ospina did, of course start as every Arsenal fan expected. Quite why the media were so obsessed with this irrelevance was fascinating, especially as they’d been pondering Cech’s place in the Premier League side recently. Wenger accused the BTSport interviewers of ‘old fashioned thinking’ when he kept yammering on about it.

Starting lineup (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Bongarts/Getty Images)

The first Bayern goal was also an irrelevance to the goalkeeping situation – Cech and Ospina between the sticks wouldn’t have saved it, but the defending was poor. To go to Munich and sit off Arjen Robben on the edge of our box with hardly a ninth of the game gone was just criminal. Francis Coquelin. What can you say?

This is a level beyond him.

One move, Arjen Robben has got one move (Photo by Marc Mueller/Bongarts/Getty Images)

A break from Alexis, fouled on the edge of the box, gave Arsenal an opening. Ozil’s free-kick wasn’t the greatest, but Neuer spilled it. No Arsenal player was alert enough to it, yet still managed to get flagged for offside as they went for the follow-up.

Moments later Arsenal had a penalty. Laurent Koscielny had nipped in front of Lewandowski, who fouled the defender. Up stepped Alexis to hit it straight down the middle, a poor penalty that Neuer saved easily. Alexis was first to react, air kicked his effort and it seemed all was lost yet somehow he got to it again and found the corner, across the German keeper.

We spent had most of the first half on the back foot, unable to string passes together. Without Giroud to hold the ball up, it just kept coming back. Wave after wave of Bayen attacks came as we bounced off them like midgies on a windscreen. And we were level with an away goal.

Alexis Sanchez Francis Coquelin, Granit Xhaka v Bayern Munich
Coq crazy (Photo by Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images)

That woke us up. We started to find our players, our rhythm, and, most importantly, our desire to close down. The next best chance of the game fell to Arsenal again, Xhaka hitting straight at Neuer after the Ox picked him out running into the box.

Chances fell to both side before the break, but at the whistle, Arsenal were surely the happier of the two teams. They had come to defend and hit on the break, and they’d done just that. Somehow, they’d managed it with a passing accuracy of just 59%, 21% possession and 66 passes.

Arsenal came flying out of the blocks after the break but disaster struck quickly.

Laurent Koscielny managed to injure himself stretching for a ball over the top and was replaced Gabriel. At the same time, David Ospina looked like he was dead, but, thankfully, he got back up and played on.

He does love a little roll, does our Dave.

A few minutes later, Bayern were ahead again. Lahm drove in a wonderful cross and Lewandowski owned Shkodran Mustafi and gave Ospina no chance. It was almost an exact replica of a chance the Pole had in the first half. Given that he usually scores with every other chance, he made no mistake.

Their third followed quickly, carving Arsenal apart with fans left broken by how, once again, the loss of one player could simply bring the team to their knees.

And then it was 4 with 25 still to play. A total shambles. I checked out at that point. The fifth was just extra pee sauce on the poo sandwich that was this match.

It was another game in which Arsenal started slowly, looking nervous and unsure. I’ve pondered the reasons for that before and now is not the time to do so again.

But the biggest question from the entire debacle must surely be ‘why does the loss of one player affect us so badly?’

That isn’t normal.

This isn’t normal.

For clubs other than Arsenal, that is.